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Water Quality water drop image

Please note: Annual water quality reports from the previous year, including the Consumer Confidence Report, will be posted by April 1 each year.

The Milwaukee Water Works (MWW) is recognized as a national leader for providing safe, high-quality drinking water, and for our water quality monitoring program.

In 2020, the Wisconsin Section of the American Water Works Association presented the Milwaukee Water Works with its Utility Achievement Award for Ongoing Excellence for obtaining DNR accreditation of its Water Quality Laboratory. The lab is certified for 30 water quality parameters, including Lead and Copper, using USEPA and Standard Methods. The MWW Water Quality Laboratory aims to continue to be a leader in research and collaboration.

MWW treats Lake Michigan water with ozone disinfection, biologically active filtration, and chloramine disinfection. In the 25 years following the 1993 Cryptosporidum outbreak, the Milwaukee Water Works invested $508 million in its infrastructure to ensure a reliable supply of pure, safe drinking water.

Water quality is regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS). 

Among many regulations followed by the Milwaukee Water Works, the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) is a federal regulation that limits the concentration of lead and copper allowed in public drinking water at consumers' taps. It also limits the permissible amount of pipe corrosion occurring due to the water itself. Utilities must ensure that tap water samples do not exceed the action level of 15 micrograms per liter (ug/L) for lead and 1300 micrograms per liter for copper in at least 90 percent of the consumer taps sampled. The Milwaukee Water Works is required to sample 50 sites every three years.

Monitoring in 2020 found Milwaukee’s water in compliance with the LCR regulations, as were the previous results from 2017.  This chart shows results of test results for lead from the beginning of the LCR in 1993 through 2020. The sampling results have been below the action level since 1999 because of the effectiveness of our corrosion control program which was implemented in 1998.

Although testing for PFAS (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances) is not required by the EPA or the DNR, Milwaukee Water Works has been testing for PFAS since 2008. We regularly test for 45 different PFAS, including both long- and short-chain analytes. We test Lake Michigan source water, the treated water from both our Linnwood and Howard water treatment plants, and the water in our distribution system at several sites throughout the City.

Find the most recent test results for all substances in our 2021 Consumer Confidence Report and in related data sets on Lake Michigan source water, treated water from the Howard and Linwood plants and the water in our distribution system (a.k.a. "entry points").

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Protecting Public Health

A leading national example of partnerships between health departments and drinking water utilities and other public health stakeholders is the Milwaukee Inter-Agency Clean Water Advisory Council (IACWAC). The group was endorsed by Milwaukee Common Council legislation in 1994 and charged with the overall coordination of water quality issues in the community.

Water Quality Monitoring Program

The Milwaukee Water Works (MWW) is recognized as a national leader in providing safe, high-quality drinking water that meets or exceeds regulations, and for its water quality monitoring that goes above and beyond requirements. Crystal-clear Milwaukee water is available fresh and pure 24 hours each day.


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