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Doors Open 2021 - Jones Island Tour

09/13/21 10:00:am

Explore the Jones Island Water Reclamation Facility IN-PERSON (SOLD-OUT) or VIRTUALLY

doors open 2021 jones island graphic

Ever wonder where that water goes after it flows down your shower drain or sink or flushed down your toilet?  

We can help you find these answers, better understand where your tax dollars go, and how you can get involved.

Join us on September 25th, 2021, at Historic Milwaukee’s Doors Open Event for the opportunity to tour the Jones Island Water Reclamation Facility in-person. To keep us all safe, in-person tours will be limited this year, and registration is required.

This single-day allows anyone to tour the facility, one of two water reclamation facilities in MMSD’s regional sewer system, and explore this engineering wonder that cleans this region’s wastewater. At this event, you’ll learn about how we make Milorganite® Fertilizer, the water reclamation process, and tips for managing water on your property.

You will meet some of the people who are dedicated to protecting you and Lake Michigan. I hope that, once you have visited, you will understand the challenging jobs we have and how dedicated we are to protecting the public and the environment. Please join us on this special day and learn how you can help protect our water. 

We are also offering a virtual tour option of the Jones Island Water Reclamation facility from September 25th to October 3rd, 2021.

Kevin L. Shafer, P.E.
Executive Director - Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District 

Join our Blue Notes email list to receive quarterly MMSD updates and news.

In-Person Jones Island Tour

Saturday September 25, 2021 - 9AM- 4:30PM (SOLD OUT)

This year, we are limiting the number of visitors that can be on-site at once, so tickets are required to attend.  Visitors can sign up for a 90-minute window of time to visit. Click here to learn more and secure your FREE ticket before they run out!. 
Visitors will learn about the history of Jones Island, the water reclamation process, MMSD programs, the making of Milorganite® fertilizer, and Veolia North America.   Kids won't want to miss the “workhorses of wastewater," collecting a set of "bug" cards, and getting up close and personal with the big trucks! Visitors will also receive a free 5lb. bag of Milorganite® upon their exit, while supplies last. 

Visitors may participate in one or both of the tours that are available on a first-come, first-served basis:

  1. Driving Bus Tour- Participants will travel around the entire Jones Island facility to learn about the water reclamation process and how Milorganite® is made.  Duration- 25 minutes
  2. Walking Hard Hat Tour of the Milorganite® Facility- Participants will get a chance to walk through the Dewatering and Drying Facility where Milorganite® is made.  Duration- 20 minutes. 

Virtual Jones Island Tour 

Take the Virtual Tour

Take a free virtual tour of the Jones Island Water Reclamation Facility, see how we clean wastewater, how Milorganite® fertilizer is made, and what you can do at your home to manage water where it falls as part of Historic Milwaukee’s Doors Open 2021.  Some of the highlights include:

Tour Jones Island Water Reclamation Facility Virtually: 

  • Ever wonder what happens to the water from your toilet or shower at home? How does all that water get cleaned? Come explore these questions and more on a virtual tour of the Jones Island Water Reclamation Facility!  This virtual tour includes information on the history of Jones Island, the wastewater treatment process, and how you can help protect this precious resource.

Learn About Milorganite® Fertilizer ​​​​:

  • One of the oldest branded fertilizers on the market, Milorganite has been exclusively made in Milwaukee for over 93 years! Manufactured by MMSD it is produced using wastewater from the greater Milwaukee area. Milorganite is composed of heat-dried microbes that have digested the organic matter in wastewater.

Manage Water Where It Falls Video

  • Capturing water where it falls is one of the biggest ways you can help protect Lake Michigan and help keep water out of your basement. Are you a homeowner in southeastern Wisconsin concerned about the environment and hoping to manage stormwater that falls where you live? You can help protect your home, improve water and air quality, reduce the risk of sewer problems, beautify your neighborhood, and “green” your corner of the world by adopting a simple practice or two! The Fresh Coast Resource Center, along with expert gardener Melinda Meyers, will show you seven steps in this video to better manage water in your landscape.

Watch the Doors Open 2019 Recap Video

Check out the recap of Doors Open 2019 to experience what Doors Open 2021 will be like at the Jones Island Water Reclamation Facility.

Managing Water Where it Falls

Protect your home by managing water where it falls with a beautiful low-maintenance landscape that is filled with healthy plants. By managing water where it falls at your home, you reduce the risk of water in your basement, lessen ponding in your landscape, improve water quality, and help protect Lake Michigan.