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The Fantastic 5 of Milwaukee’s Water Monitoring

The Water Quality Protection Team of Milwaukee is a group of specialized, scientific detectives that collect, monitor and track evidence for improving and protecting the rivers, Lake Michigan, and the Watersheds in Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewer District’s service area. They collect more than 150,000 water samples a year, analyzing more than 1 million individual data measurements from waterways, water reclamation facilities and sewers. With one of the State of Wisconsin’s most comprehensive water quality data bases for Lake Michigan and its rivers, MMSD continues to test, monitor and assess the benefits and impacts to area waterways from the investment of billions of dollars in wastewater treatment and storage and sewer system improvements. MMSD’s surface water quality monitoring program started in 1979. Continued tracking of water quality, along with improvements to the District’s wastewater treatment system will help retain the beneficial uses of Lake Michigan and Milwaukee-area waterways to the public.

The team operates through five working groups: The Central laboratory group is comprised of scientific professionals, technicians, chemists and helpers who analyze samples and report findings from the test results. The Industrial group are team members of Industrial Waste Engineers who monitor and enforce point source pollution programs, including Industrial Waste Pretreatment, Mercury Reduction, and Household Hazardous Waste.  The Systems Monitoring/Conveyance Group are analysts who review, organize, monitor and analyze data generated from monitoring and sampling of the conveyance systems, groundwater, and stormwater programs. They are also responsible for regulatory reporting.  The Water Quality Research Group are resource specialists who sample, monitor, analyze and report on the water quality in local watersheds and the Field Monitoring Group is made up of Monitoring technicians and specialists responsible for sample and data collection and downloading data into the District’s databases.

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