Water System Information
The West Allis Water Utility purchases water from the City Of Milwaukee Water Works. Our water is supplied to us from Milwaukee's Howard Avenue Water Treatment Plant, though two (2) metered supply points in West Allis. During 2016, the West Allis Water Utility pumped an average of 5 million gallons of water per day for residential, commercial and industrial use. Also, the Utility maintains 215 miles of water main, 2,600 fire hydrants, 6,000 distribution valves and over 19,000 water meters in accordance to regulatory standards established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin.
To view the Water Quality Report, go to the Water page. We are pleased to present this information to our consumers. It will explain the source of our water, what has been detected in our water, and how it compares to the standards set by the USEPA and the Wisconsin DNR. The West Allis Water Utility is totally committed to protecting the health of the public served by our system.
As water flows through rivers and lakes and over land surfaces, naturally occurring substances may be dissolved in the water that reaches Lake Michigan. These substances are referred to as contaminants. Surface water sources may be highly susceptible to contaminants. Surface water is also affected by animal and human activities. Read the DNR Source Water Assessment for Milwaukee at Water Quality. Contaminants that may be present in source water include microbial contaminants such as viruses, protozoa and bacteria; inorganic contaminants such as salts and metals, pesticides and herbicides, organic chemical contaminants, and radioactive contaminants.
To ensure that tap water is safe to drink, the EPA prescribes regulations which limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that the water poses a health risk. More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the Environmental Protection Agency's Safe Drinking Water Hotline, (800) 426- 4791.
Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immunocompromised persons such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly, and infants can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about drinking tap water from their health care providers. EPA/CDC (Centers for Disease Control) guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants are available from the Environmental Protection Agency's Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791, and the CDC at CDC Parasites.
Lead and Copper
The City of West Allis Water Utility is required to test the drinking water in a number of homes for copper and lead. The utility last tested in 2014 and will test again in 2017. Of the 30 homes tested for lead in 2014, one had test results above the action level of 15 ppm. Of the 30 homes tested for copper in 2014, none had test results above the action level of 1.3 ppm. If present, elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with service lines and home plumbing. West Allis water Utility is responsible for providing high quality drinking water, but cannot control the variety of materials used in plumbing components. When your water has been sitting for several hours, you can minimize the potential for lead exposure by flushing your tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using water for drinking or cooking. If you are concerned about lead in your water, you may wish to have your water tested. Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods, and steps you can take to minimize exposure is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline or at EPA Safe Water Lead. Infants and children who drink water containing lead in excess of the action level could experience delays in their physical or mental development. Children could show slight deficits in attention span and learning abilities. Adults who drink this water over many years could develop kidney problems or high blood pressure.
Cryptosporidium is a microscopic protozoan that when ingested, can result in diarrhea, fever, and other gastrointestinal symptoms. The Milwaukee Water Works and the Milwaukee Health Department consider Cryptosporidium detection a priority, and since 1993, have continued to test untreated and treated water for Cryptosporidium. The organism is found in many surface water sources (lakes, rivers, streams) and comes from human and animal wastes in the watershed. The risk of Cryptosporidium from drinking water in Milwaukee has been reduced to extremely low levels by an effective treatment combination including ozone disinfection, coagulation, sedimentation, biologically active filtration, and chloramine disinfection.
The City of Milwaukee Health Department and the Milwaukee Water Works have prepared a brochure based on EPA and CDC guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium. Copies of this brochure are available from the Milwaukee Water Works Customer Service Center, (414) 286-2830. Or, view a copy in English or Spanish at Water Quality; scroll down to Resource Links, choose Information for Persons with High Risk Immune Systems.