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MMSD has initiated regulatory innovations advancing watershed initiatives for the region. MMSD led a 
partnership with EPA Region 5, WDNR, Southeastern WI Watersheds Trust, and municipalities in the 
Menomonee River watershed to develop a watershed-based, MS4 stormwater permit, the first 
successful such permit in the nation.  

MMSD is developing 3rd party TMDLs and implementation plans for the Milwaukee, Kinnickinnic, and 
Menomonee Rivers and Milwaukee Harbor Estuary for fecal coliform, phosphorous, and sediment. 
Anticipated allocations will trigger new water quality initiatives and policies such as greater 
implementation of GI and potential establishment of water quality trading. 

WDNR codified MMSD’s integrated watershed management strategy to address water quality in 
MMSD’s Wisconsin’s Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WPDES) permit requiring MMSD add 12 
million gallons of GI capacity over five years. With no state order or federal consent decree pushing this 
requirement for GI, it is the first such requirement in the country. 

 

ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE 

 

Proactive leadership that engages in both internal organizational and broader external 
community priorities  

 

Establishes a participatory, collaborative organization dedicated to continual learning, 
improvement, and innovation   

 

Workforce and leadership development program in place to assure recruitment, retention, and 
competency of utility staff relative to a Utility of the Future business model. Development 
program includes a leadership and management skills training program that provides both 
formal and informal leadership opportunities for employees  

 

Employee “in-reach” program established to share work experiences and ensure greater 
understanding of the utility’s key strategy relative to the Utility of the Future business model 

 

Innovation initiatives adopted that encourage risk-taking, and that are adequately funded and 
staffed   

The 2050 Facilities Plan in development will be the first based on asset management principles; it is 
thought to be the first large-scale wastewater facilities plan to be based on asset management principles 
and may influence future regulatory requirements on how facilities planning is performed.  The Facilities 
Plan will develop five Asset Management Plans for the five identified asset systems: Conveyance and 
Collections Systems, Water Reclamation Facilities and Biosolids, Watercourse and Flood Management, 
Green Infrastructure, and Administrative Facilities. 

MMSD developed a Sustainability Policy (2009) that directs the purchase of products and services be 
based upon their environmentally preferable qualities including reduced toxicity, reusability, recycled 
content, functional efficiency, energy efficiency, and efficient packaging. The policy also states that the 
District purchase and use materials, products and services which are fiscally responsible, reduce 
resource consumption and waste, promote opportunities to lesser-advantaged segments of our 
community, perform adequately, and promote human health and well-being. 

In the 2016-2018 Strategic Plan, “systems thinking” is incorporated into the approach to information 
technology strategies. Goals include:  create a strategy for current and future storage allocation to