Milwaukee Business Journal
Published Dec 20, 2017, 12:40pm CST Updated: Dec 20, 2017, 1:56pm CST
Sean Ryan

Milwaukee and Waukesha on Wednesday finalized their water sale
agreement, clearing the way for Lake Michigan water to start flowing
west in 2022.

The deal makes Milwaukee the drinking water supplier for Waukesha at
least until 2057, with options to renew in the future. Waukesha is
switching to Lake Michigan water purchased from the city of
Milwaukee because its current system of underground wells exceeds
federal safety limits for the carcinogen radium.

The new water deal was announced in late October, and approved by
elected officials in the two communities. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett
visited Waukesha on Wednesday to sign the final agreement.

Milwaukee emerged as a cheaper alternative than Oak Creek, which Waukesha had originally selected to be
its future water supplier. The deal will mean lower water rates for Milwaukee’s existing customers. Rates for
Waukesha’s customers will increase to an average of $1,200 a year on water, instead of the $1,400
estimated under a contract with Oak Creek.

Waukesha plans to spend $285 million building a new system of water pipes to channel drinking water from
Milwaukee, and return treated water back to Lake Michigan through the Root River. That construction work
will start in 2019 or 2020.

From the Milwaukee Business Journal: