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Lead and WaterFaucet with water glass image

# of Lead Service Lines replaced in 2019 = 623
# of Lead Service Lines replaced in 2018 = 931
# of Lead Service Lines replaced in 2017 = 621

There is no lead in the drinking water Milwaukee Water Works delivers from its treatment plants, but lead can enter into the water as it leaves water mains and passes through lead services lines and customer-owned pipes and plumbing containing lead on their property and in their homes. In the 1900s, lead was cheap, easy to work with and a readily available material to use for services lines and plumbing. But lead service lines pose a risk of lead exposure, particularly to children under age six, and women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or may become pregnant. Lead can be unsafe 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. Programa de Reemplazo de las Líneas de Servicio de Plomo  Read about water main replacements involving lead service lines.

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


About lead 

About lead water service lines

Corrosion control prevents lead from dissolving from lead service lines into the water​​​​​​

Information about water filters

Nutrition and health

Additional information

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)


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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 leadFor 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. 

Together, Let's Get the Lead Out

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