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Milwaukee Water Works
# of Lead Service Lines replaced in 2019 = 399
# of Lead Service Lines replaced in 2018 = 931
# 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'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. Programa de Reemplazo de las Líneas de Servicio de Plomo Read about water main replacements involving lead service lines.
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
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
24-Hour Control Center
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.
Together, Let's Get the Lead Out
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