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Lead Service Line Replacement Program Overview


Required Replacements

The Milwaukee Code of Ordinances § 225-22.5 requires a full replacement (publicly-owned portion and privately-owned portion) of the lead service line with copper, from the water main that runs under the street to the curb stop (city-owned) and from the curb stop to the meter (customer-owned) in the following situations: 

  • Childcare Facilities
    A licensed group child care center, a licensed family day care center, or a certified child care home. (About 50-75 per year.)

  • Leaks or Failures
    When a leak or failure is found on either the customer-owned portion (private side) or the city-owned portion (public side) of the lead service line. (About 500 - 550 per year.)

  • Certain Road Construction Projects
    When the city-owned section is replaced, including water main replacements or road reconstruction projects (when the city is completly rebuilding the road, which doesn't include high-impact paving projects). (About 550 - 650 per year)

  • Equity Prioritization Plan
    Using objective criteria, Water Works assigns a score to every Census Block Group in the city, intentionally prioritizing disadvantaged areas. (1000 in 2024.) 


Equity Prioritization Plan

Milwaukee Water Works is expanding its lead service line replacement program to prioritize neighborhoods with the greatest need.

Our Equity Prioritization plan balances three key factors:

  1. Density of lead service lines,

  2. Incidences of elevated blood lead levels (EBLL) in children, and

  3. The neighborhood's score on a socio-economic index.

Read more here.


Voluntary Replacement: Owner Request Option

Subject to capacity, Milwaukee Water Works will replace a limited number of lead services lines that are not part of a planned project or required due to a leak or the property's designation as a certified childcare facility .

To participate in this voluntary program, property owners must agree to pay for the full cost of replacing the private portion of the service line. For more information about the Owner Request Option Program, click here.

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