Waukesha Water Utility

115 Delafield Street
PO Box 1648
Waukesha, WI 53187-1648

Phone: (262) 521-5272

Fax: (262) 521-5265

Press Room

/Press Room

Welcome to the Great Water Alliance Press Room

Here – and all around this website — you’ll find everything you need to tell the world our story. If, unlikely though it may be, you don’t see what you’re looking for, feel free to contact us directly. We’re here to help.


State and Waukesha reach agreement on radium deadline




Great Water Alliance Seeking Citizen Imput At Open Houses in Franklin, Muskego, and New Berlin


Waukesha Mayor Reacts to Great Lakes Governors’ Final Ruling »


Waukesha’s Response to Eight Great Lakes Governors’ Ruling on Cities Initiative Appeal »


Great Water Alliance Launches New Website »


New Credit Supports Water Conservation »


Waukesha Begins Permitting & Planning of New Water Supply Project »


Waukesha Chooses Manager for Lake Michigan Water Supply Project »


FREEMAN: State Agrees to extend city’s radium deadline to 2023


MJS: State extends Waukesha deadline to fully comply with radium standards for drinking water


MJS/Opinion: Milwaukee blew its chance to supply water to Waukesha


WAUKESHA NOW: Milwaukee makes a splash with surprise bid to sell Lake Michigan water to Waukesha


FREEMAN: Milwaukee submits water proposal to Waukesha


FREEMAN/Letters to the Editor: Residents’ comments, interests matter in water pipeline planning


MUSKEGO NOW: Weighing a Water Way: Muskego and New Berlin consider impact of three routes for Waukesha diversion


MBJ: Waukesha Seeks Input on water pipelines through Franklin, Muskego, New Berlin


FREEMAN: Compact reaffirms approval of Waukesha’s Lake Michigan water plan

Key Facts from the Great Lakes Compact Council’s Approval of Waukesha’s Application

The eight Great Lakes governors (the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Water Resources Compact Council) unanimously approved Waukesha’s proposal to use and return Lake Michigan water under the Great Lakes Compact. The key findings of the approval include the following:

  • “Approximately 100% of the volume withdrawn from the Basin will be returned via flow through the Root River, a tributary of the Basin. This effectively results in no net loss of water volume to the Basin.”
  • “The deep aquifer groundwater supply is hydrologically connected to waters of the Basin. Continued use of that aquifer draws groundwater away from the Basin” without being returned. 
  • “Approving a diversion of Great Lakes water with return flow will result in a net increase of water in the Lake Michigan watershed.” 
  • “None of the evaluated alternatives were found to be reliable sources for a long-term, dependable, and sustainable public water supply and, therefore, the Applicant is without a reasonable water supply alternative” to Lake Michigan water. 
  • “The Applicant’s deep aquifer wells draw from an aquifer that is part of a regional aquifer system where withdrawals have exceeded the natural recharge rate. 
  • “The Applicant’s wells in the deep aquifer are in a confined aquifer which restricts recharge and contributes to groundwater decline.” 
  • “The Applicant’s deep aquifer wells also have total combined radium … concentrations that are above the Safe Drinking Water Act standard.” 
  • Approval will “eliminate the introduction of radium into the environment.” 
  • “The groundwater depletion, along with the radium concentration issue, demonstrates that the deep aquifer is not a sustainable or safe source of water for the people served by the Applicant.” 
  • “The proposed Exception cannot be reasonably avoided through the efficient use and conservation of existing water supplies and the Exception will be implemented to incorporate environmentally sound and economically feasible water conservation measures to minimize water withdrawals.” 
  • “The return flow will benefit a Basin tributary, the Root River … Increased flow will result in an improvement of the fishery and benefits to the Basin salmonid egg collection facility located downstream on the Root River.” 
  • Waukesha’s “high quality” wastewater treatment includes “removal of chemical phosphorus, suspended solids and associated contaminants, as well as organic materials; tertiary filtration; and, ultraviolet light disinfection. The proposed phosphorus permit limits are well below the water quality standard for the Root River and are on an order of magnitude lower than many existing dischargers to the Basin.” 
  • Waukesha must monitor the Root River “in order to adapt future return flow to minimize potential adverse impacts or maximize potential benefits.” 
  • “The Applicant must implement a comprehensive pharmaceutical and personal care products recycling program and continually use the best available methods to encourage the further reduction of such products into the wastewater as recommended by the Originating Party.” 
  • “The findings in this Final Decision are unique … and do not necessarily apply to any other applicant or application. The unique circumstances … include:”
    • The court order for Waukesha to comply with radium standards;
    • The elimination of a source of radium into the environment by ending use of Waukesha groundwater;
    • The current us of confined aquifer that has limited groundwater recharge;
    • The groundwater interconnection and the current loss of water from the Lake Michigan watershed;
    • The unavoidable significant environmental impacts of alternatives to Lake Michigan surface water;
    • Waukesha’s return of approximately 100% of Lake Michigan water;
    • The protection against sewage overflows; and
    • The quality of Waukesha’s wastewater treatment.


Angela’s Water Story


Compact Reaffirms Approval of Waukesha’s Lake Michigan Water Plan


Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Council’s (“Compact Council”) Final Decision on Waukesha Diversion Application Issued


Request for Hearing submitted by Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative (“Cities Initiative”) less than 90 days after Compact Council Final Decision Issued


Response letter sent from Compact Council to Cities Initiative acknowledging receipt of Request for Hearing within 90 days of issuance of Final Decision


Cities Initiative submits written statement to Compact Council within 90 days of issuance of Final Decision.


Compact Council directs Cities Initiative to submit brief within 45 days in support of its Request for Hearing.


Supplemental Written Statement Submitted by Great lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative


Briefing Schedule and Procedures Published


City of Waukesha Response to Cities Initiative filed


Cities Initiative Reply filed


Oral Argument Scheduled March 20, 2017