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Protecting Our Regions Water Resources: MMSD’s Freshwater Monitoring Program

04/18/23 02:45:pm

The National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) recognized the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District’s (MMSD) Freshwater Monitoring program with the Operations & Environmental Performance award in 2023.

Since 1979 the MMSD’s Freshwater Monitoring program has helped protect the Greater Milwaukee region’s water.  Protecting the region’s water resources is directly linked to MMSD’s core responsibilities of wastewater treatment and flood management and our mission to protect public health and the environment.

 Water quality monitoring is conducted at nearly 100 fixed monitoring sites within the MMSD planning area.  Samples are brought to MMSD’s Central Laboratory, over 40 water quality indicators are analyzed, and over 60,000 tests are conducted annually. This data is part of a national repository used by government agencies to assess and monitor the quality of the waterways.  This data is also used for MMSD and other municipality planning, to evaluate the impacts of MMSD projects and wastewater reclamation facilities, and to help identify illegal discharges, dumping, and other issues along the waterways. MMSD also shares the data we collect with the public and research partners.

To summarize the large amount of data collected each year, the Freshwater Monitoring group produces an annual report. This report aligns with MMSD’s current projects and supports the work of our community partners.   Water quality tracking, improvements to our wastewater treatment system, and the restoration work in our streams and rivers help provide a healthy environment for the community we serve.

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    As part of MMSD's Freshwater Resources Monitoring program, we have a team of scientists that work on our research vessel named the Pelagos to monitor the waterways.

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    The Mallard, the other MMSD research vessel, and captain Mitch Olds.

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     MMSD Water Resources Specialists are taking samples on Lake Michigan.

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    An MMSD Water Resources Specialist taking samples in a local river.

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    MMSD Water Resources Specialists use scientific equipment to take real-time measurements in Lake Michigan. 

How Can You Help Protect Our Water?

MMSD Home Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Program

Home HazMat Drop-Off

NEW items and FREE drop-off for your household hazardous waste at one of our permanent or mobile collection locations. Help keep our land and water clean and safe!

disconnect your downspout in milwaukee

Downspout Disconnection

During heavy rain, every downspout on your home can send 12 gallons of water a minute to the sewer system, which increases the risk of sewer water backing up into your basement and overflowing into our rivers and lake Michigan. Disconnect your downspout and help keep excess water out of sanitary sewers and into your yard or a rain garden.

MMSD Water Drop Alert

Text: WATERDROP to 414-296-4422 for Española texto GOTADEAGUA a 414-296-4422

Receive Water Drop Alert text messages when heavy rain threatens the area. When a Water Drop Alert has been issued, a reminder is sent to use less water.

What do you do when an alert is issued?

  • Hold off on washing dishes and laundry
  • Take a shorter shower 
  • Empty your rain barrel