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Lead and Water     Faucet with water glass image                       

# of Lead Service Lines replaced in 2019 = 58

# of Lead Service Lines replaced in 2018 = 910

# of Lead Service Lines replaced in 2017 = 621

Milwaukee has been in compliance with federal regulations to control lead in drinking water since 1996. In 1991, the US EPA introduced the Lead Copper Rule (LCR) as a means to regulate lead and copper in drinking water. In compliance with this rule, and under the direction of the EPA and Wisconsin DNR, Milwaukee Water Works implemented corrosion control in 1996 to reduce lead and copper in tap water. Optimized corrosion control is achieved by adding orthophosphate, which coats the pipes and significantly reduces lead and copper from leaching into tap water.

Since the addition of corrosion control in 1996, lead levels have decreased by more than 50% in Milwaukee. Shown here are the 90th percentile and median lead levels from Milwaukee EPA Lead & Copper Rule compliance sampling beginning in 1993. Note the drop in lead levels after optimized corrosion control treatment began in 1996. 

Milwaukee water is in compliance with EPA rules for lead

chart shows lead decrease
Milwaukee's water quality meets federal and state quality regulations when it flows from our treatment plants. However, lead is often present in drinking water because the service line connecting the water main to the property meter and interior plumbing may contain lead. Lead can be unsafe, especially to very young children, when it is swallowed or breathed in. The City of Milwaukee is investing in your health by implementing a program to replace lead service lines throughout the city. Read about water main replacements involving lead service lines.


About lead 

What are the sources of lead?

How do I protect my family from lead in my home?

Proteja a Su Familia Contra el Plomo en el Hogar

About lead water service lines
What should I know about lead service lines?

What does a lead service line look like?

I want to check your records. Does my property have a lead service line?

How do I test my service line to see if it is made of lead?

What is the Milwaukee program to replace lead service lines?

Programa de reemplazo de la línea de servicio de plomo

Lead Service Line Replacement FAQ -- Preguntas y respuestas frecuentes sobre las lineas de servicio de plomo

Corrosion control prevents lead from dissolving from lead service lines into the water​​​​​​
How does corrosion control reduce the risk of lead in water?

What proof is there that corrosion control reduces lead and copper levels in tap water? Read a study comparing lead water sampling results between Madison (no LSLs) and Milwaukee (LSLs with corrosion control)

Information about water filters
Should I use a water filter?

Where can I find a list of filters to remove lead and other metals?

Ejemplos De Filtros Que Remueven Plomo Del Agua Para Su Hogar

Click here for discounts on filters sold by Aquasana and Kohler

Do I qualify for a free filter from the health department or a community organization?
Call the City of Milwaukee lead hotline (414) 286-2165

How do I use a water filter?

Nutrition and health

How do healthy habits help reduce the risk of lead exposure? 

Additional information
What is the national AWWA standard for replacing and flushing lead service lines?

What's the difference between Milwaukee and Flint, Michigan?               


Milwaukee Water Works Safe, Abundant Drinking Water

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Customer Service Center

Zeidler Municipal Building
841 N. Broadway, Room 406
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Open Monday - Friday 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Mailing address: P.O. Box 3268, Milwaukee, WI 53201-3268


 (414) 286-2830

24-Hour Control Center  

 (414) 286-3710


 (414) 286-8801


 (414) 286-5452

Email (non-emergency)


Lead-Safe Mke       

Espanol LeadSafe Milwaukee

A Sept 2017 EPA report quantified and compared contributions of lead from air, soil/dust, water and food to children's blood lead levels.

Children living in older homes with lead-based paint hazards by far have the most exposure to lead. For 1- to 6- year olds in the top 90-100 percentile, more than 70% of the lead in their blood was from soil and dust.

The contribution of lead from food was 20% and drinking water was 10%. For infants, soil and dust contribute to 50% of the lead in blood, while 40% was from water and 10% from food.

The EPA is evaluating approaches to setting a health-based benchmark for lead in drinking water. 

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