What do we inspect?
The City of Milwaukee through ordinance adopts the State of Wisconsin Plumbing Code SPS 381-387. Outside, we inspect all storm sewers, sanitary sewers, water services, well and private sewerage systems. Inside the building or structure we inspect storm and sanitary building drains, waste and vent piping, water distribution piping, plumbing fixtures, equipment and appliances.
Why do you inspect?
Sewers, drains and waste piping are checked for proper grading to maintain downward flow. The plumbing system is tested for leaks. We check that the material used in the plumbing system is approved by a recognized testing lab. We prohibit cross connections between safe water and water from a questionable source and prohibit the discharge of hazardous waste to the sewer system. We also check the vent pipes to balance the pressure in the plumbing system.
With whom do we work?
The plumbing inspection staff works closely with the plumbing permit clerk, the plumbing plan examiners, the Metropolitan Sewerage District, Sewer Engineering, Water Department, Dept. of Public Works, and the Health Department. The following is a list of the office and inspection staff of the Plumbing, Cross Connection, and Sprinkler Section. It also includes the Plumbing Permit Clerk and the Plumbing Plan Examiners. For a current list of plumbing inspectors and staff, check our Phone Directory.
All plumbing work in the City of Milwaukee must be done with a permit obtained from the Development Center (414-286-8211). The person applying for the permit has to hold one or more of the following credentials: Master Plumber, Master Plumber Restricted - Service, Master Plumber Restricted - Appliance, or Utility Contractor who has a plumber's performance bond and certificate of liability insurance filed with the City Attorney. The only exception is for an owner of a one-family building owned and occupied by him/her can also apply for a plumbing permit for the remodeling or alteration work done inside of the building. Once a plumbing permit is issued, work can begin and will be inspected as the job progresses. The contractor or the homeowner calls the Plumbing Inspection Section for an inspection.
Learn about cross connections and backflow problems in our Cross Connection Brochure (DNS-124). For more detailed instructions, download our Cross Connection Manual and our Cross Connection Presentation.
The City of Milwaukee in cooperation with the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District is encouraging residents to divert storm water from the sanitary sewer system. Learn How to Disconnect Your Downspouts.
Visit the Milwaukee Downspout Disconnection Program webpage.
Forms for Plumbing Contractors
See the links below for plumbing performance bond and insurance certificate forms.