327 

 

Utility Description 

(combine all plants if a multi-site system)

 

 

Type: Regional utility with 2 reclamation facilities, Jones Island and South Shore; Headquarters and associated 
labs; 300 mile conveyance system for the Metropolitan Interceptor Sewer; 28.5 miles Inline Storage System 
(Deep Tunnel); research vessel – R/V Pelagos 
Service Area (square miles):  411 square miles 

Average annual daily flow (MGD): 183.9 MGD 
(2015) 

Population Served:  1.1 million; 28 municipalities 

Location  

Street Address: 260 W. Seeboth St. 
City:   Milwaukee                                          State: Wisconsin 

Zip Code: 53204 

Contact Information  

Name: Kevin Shafer, 
             Executive Director 

Phone: 414-225-2088 

Email: kshafer@mmsd.com 

 

NARRATIVE: Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) is recognized as one of the premier 
water reclamation utilities operating in the United States. Jones Island Water Reclamation Facility 
(JIWRF) became operational in 1926 and piloted the activated sludge treatment process. In 1927, MMSD 
began production of its bio-solids fertilizer, Milorganite®. Operations expanded in 1968 with the 
addition of a second facility, South Shore (SS). Completion of the 28.5 mile Inline Storage System in 1994 
reduced overflows from 50 – 60 per year to an average of 2.4 per year. Since deep tunnel operation 
began, MMSD has captured and cleaned an average of 98.3% of stormwater and wastewater entering 
its system, surpassing WPDES permit requirements.  

Building on this foundation of excellence, in late 1990s, MMSD broadened its vision and directed 
resources to incorporate a comprehensive watershed approach to meet its charge to protect public 
health and the region’s waterways. With visionary leadership and innovative organizational culture, 
MMSD integrated watershed-based planning with exemplary operations of facilities and conveyance 
systems.  

In 2002, two major planning efforts began -- MMSD’s 2020 Facilities Plan and Southeastern Wisconsin 
Regional Planning Commission’s (SEWRPC) Regional Water Quality Management Plan Update 
(RWQMPU). MMSD, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) and SEWRPC formed the 
Water Quality Initiative (WQI) partnership to integrate these plans using shared data and analysis to 
assess water quality (WQ).  

Extensive public engagement in development of the 2020 Facilities Plan gave stakeholders significant 
input. The WQI emphasized a watershed approach to reduce nonpoint pollution and identified priorities 
to advance the region’s WQ.   

The 2020 Facilities Plan laid the foundation for bold initiatives -- watershed restoration plans for the 
Menomonee and Kinnickinnic Rivers (2010); 2035 Vision and Strategic Objectives (December 2010); 
SeWeR: Sustainable Water Reclamation Plan (February 2012); Regional Green Infrastructure Plan (June 
2013); a pilot MS4 watershed-based stormwater permit (2012); 3rd party TMDLs for the Menomonee, 
Kinnickinnic, and Milwaukee Rivers and Milwaukee River Estuary; and Energy Plan (2015) with the goal 
to obtain 100% of energy needs through renewable resources.