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. We treat Lake Michigan water with ozone disinfection, biologically active filtration, and chloramine disinfection. In the 25 years following the 1993 "Cryptosporidum crisis," 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 or 1300 micrograms 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 2017 found Milwaukee’s water in compliance with the LCR regulations, as were the previous results from 2014. Here is a chart showing results of sampling from the beginning of the LCR in 1993 through 2017. 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.