About the Milwaukee Water Works
The Milwaukee Water Works is a national leader in providing high quality, healthful drinking water.
The first-ever report on strategies to build water workforce equity in Milwaukee was recently released by the Milwaukee Water Works, the US Water Alliance, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, and other Milwaukee leaders representing local utilities, nonprofits, and philanthropy. An Equitable Water Future: Milwaukee will guide the water community as it builds the water workforce to better reflect the diversity of its citizens. The report recommends specific actions in three categories:
- Strengthen collaboration within the local water sector
- Build awareness of water careers
- Change workforce and procurement policies and practices to make them more equitable.
The Milwaukee Water Works is owned by the City of Milwaukee. Policy is set by the Mayor and Common Council. We adhere to regulations of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for facilities, operations, and water quality. The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) sets water rates and service charges and monitors our accounting.
We purify Lake Michigan water to provide pure and fresh drinking water to 866,993 people in 16 communities in Milwaukee, Ozaukee and Waukesha Counties.
- Average daily pumpage in 2019 was 92.7 million gallons.
- We maintain 1,961 miles of water mains, 19,876 hydrants and 50,266 valves.
- Daily per-person, indoor and outdoor use in Milwaukee is 41 gallons.
- The utility has 341 employees in Plants, Distribution, Business, Engineering, and Water Quality work units.
- 2019 Utility General Information
- View all annual reports
In September, the WIAWWA 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.
The Water Research Foundation (WRF) honored the Milwaukee Water Works with its 2016 Outstanding Subscriber Award for Applied Research for the utility response during the two decades following the 1993 Cryptosporidium crisis. Read the Milwaukee Water Works ozone research story.
The award honors utilities that successfully apply research to make notable improvements to their water treatment, delivery and management processes and "celebrates the persistence and dedication of some of WRF's most influential partners." Milwaukee continues to participate in WRF projects benefitting the drinking water community, as seen in a video here.
Investing in infrastructure continues to be a priority, banking on investments in the first 25 years after the Cryptosporidium crisis, $508 million, to ensure a reliable supply of safe drinking water.
The Milwaukee Water Works was founded on April 18, 1871. Read highlights of our first 150 years in our history brochure
The Milwaukee Water Works was organized on April 18, 1871 and began operations September 14, 1874. We are proud to serve as the longest continuously operating water utility in Wisconsin. The Linnwood Water Treatment Plant was named a Water Landmark by the American Water Works Association in 2019. The plant has been continuously operating since 1939. The North Point Water Tower was designated a Water Landmark in 1969, the inaugural year of the award.
Honors for the Milwaukee Water Works
The Wisconsin Section of the American Water Works Association presented its 2016 Utility Special Achievement Award to the Milwaukee Water Works for working effectively with health and regulatory agencies to shape field and water quality monitoring activities and customer outreach to reduce lead at customers’ taps. Read about the Lead Service Line award.
The MWW water quality team was published nationally in January 2017 when the Journal of the American Water Works Association ran Milwaukee's research findings about lead and drinking water sampling, which were reviewed by the City of Milwaukee Health Department, Wisconsin Department of Health Services and Department of Natural Resources and EPA. Read "Lead Water Service Lines: Extensive Sampling and Field Protocol Protects Public Health"
Milwaukee is enriched with an abundant water resource in Lake Michigan. Water treated and used is returned to the lake. The Milwaukee Water Works practices environmental stewardship, reducing its energy, carbon, and water footprints to use water wisely and conserve energy resources. Here's a diagram of how Best Practices Support Sustainable Water Water Systems.