Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District
The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) is a state-chartered government agency which provides wastewater services for 28 municipalities within Milwaukee County and also portions of the surrounding counties. It releases the largest amount of water pollution of any other one agency or company in the State of Wisconsin.
With headquarters and a central laboratory along the Menomonee River near downtown Milwaukee, it has two wastewater treatment plants which are located at Jones Island ( ) in Milwaukee and at the South Shore ( ) in Oak Creek. These facilities were operated by United Water under a 10-year agreement ending March 1, 2008. Veolia Water is the current operator.
The primary wastewater treatment plant at Jones Island was one of the first of its kind when the original activated sludge plant was constructed in 1925. MMSD was the first to market biosolids created through this process as a fertilizer under the name "Milorganite." The 1925 plant has been designated as a Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
During the past few years, sewage has been dumped into Lake Michigan either by accident or as a result of sewer overflow. By late March, 2006 the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District had accidentally dumped 800,000 gallons of sewage into Lake Michigan. The accidents occurred as workers at the Jones Island facility were testing a new computer operating system. Testing was done under the United Water contract.
In June 2011, combined sewers discharged 170.5 million gallons of untreated wastewater to rivers and Lake Michigan.
On April 10, 2013 combined sanitary and storm sewer overflows were again redirected to rivers and Lake Michigan. Diverting combined sewer overflows to waterways is an emergency measure to prevent sewage backups into basements. Officials said the heavy rains caused sewers in the Milwaukee area to spill an estimated 595 million gallons of untreated wastewater to local waterways.
On April 18, 2013 MMSD again initiated a combined sewer overflow per Bill Graffin of MMSD. The overflow included both untreated wastewater and stormwater. Wisconsin DNR estimated the overflow to be 5% untreated sewage.
- Rain leaves rivers cresting in southeastern Wisconsin; heavy snow hitting north from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,
- Combined sewer overflows into Milwaukee waterways to end soon
- Milwaukee sewers spilled 595M wastewater gallons
- MMSD releases sewage from combined system because of flooding