Project Milwaukee

Susan Bence

Some people are concerned about the many lead pipes that deliver water into older Milwaukee homes. Others applaud the city for tackling stormwater management through green infrastructure. But how is Milwaukee doing at creating a comprehensive water management plan?

Chuck Quirmbach

Wisconsin scientists are working on new ways to protect drinking and surface water from pollutants. They’re also investigating better methods of cleaning water that's already contaminated. But researchers say success may cost taxpayers more money.

Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Secretary Preston Cole has been promising to place a higher priority on good science when crafting policy. For example, he hopes better research will lead to cleaner drinking water. 

Audrey Nowakowski

WUWM's Project Milwaukee series Great Lakes, Troubled Waters is examining the topic of clean water, or the lack thereof, in southeastern Wisconsin — particularly in a place like Milwaukee that considers itself to be a "water hub."

Water hubs are places where industry, research, and academia converge in their efforts to create sustainable efforts or create new technology utilizing one of our most precious resources.

alexandrink1966 / stock.adobe.com

Quality is perhaps the most important part of any water distribution system. Water utilities process every drop that makes it into our plumbing, which takes a lot of time and energy. One way to keep from overburdening the system is by reducing our consumption — what we know as "water conservation."

Bill Graffin works for the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, which works in wastewater treatment and conservation efforts in the Milwaukee area. Here are some helpful tips from Graffin on how you can conserve water at home.

Teran Powell

In discussions about the health and safety of water, it’s typical to hear from experts, public health officials and government leaders. But you don't often get the opinions of younger people who are just beginning to learn and care about natural resources.

Young people working with Cream City Conservation Corps are having some real conversations about the environment. August Ball leads the discussion at the group’s regular Tuesday night meeting in the Silver City neighborhood on Milwaukee's south side.

Maayan Silver

Rainstorms are a challenge to clean water. They can cause flooding and potentially damaging runoff. But utilities, landscape architects and others are finding solutions — visible everywhere from the county grounds to your neighborhood ice cream shop.

Roman_23203 / stock.adobe.com

When the Lead and Copper Rule was first issued in 1991, it put federal limits on the acceptable amount of these metals found in drinking water. Cities started testing their water. Researchers experimented with chemicals that could inhibit the corrosion of pipes — the main source of contamination.

But for some cities, like Madison, Wis., that simply wasn’t enough.

Tuesday on Lake Effect:

We’re live from the Cooperage in Milwaukee’s Harbor District for a special broadcast - part of our Project Milwaukee series, Great Lakes, Troubled Waters.

Marti Mikkelson

In older cities like Milwaukee, lead pipes are a potential threat. But there are different problems in rural areas.

Ulao Creek is a tiny stream tucked into a quiet neighborhood in Mequon. On a recent afternoon, the water was high due to heavy rains the night before. And members of environmental group Milwaukee Riverkeeper are testing the water.

SCREENSHOT/WISCONSIN PUBLIC TELEVISION

Across Wisconsin, tens of thousands of people don’t trust the water that comes out of their tap — due to lead, agricultural runoff or industrial pollution.

To address water quality, there’s $70 million in Gov. Tony Evers’ budget and he's declared 2019 "the year of clean drinking water." However, some in the Republican state Legislature say too much of that money would go to Milwaukee to remove lead water lines, neglecting other areas of the state.

Courtesy of the Milwaukee Police Department

Update:

On Thursday, the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission announced Alfonso Morales will serve as police chief through January 2020.

This is when former Police Chief Edward Flynn's term would have ended. Flynn retired in February and the commission then appointed Morales to serve as interim chief.

Original post, March 27:

Michelle Maternowski

WUWM carried out an informal survey, by driving around town and asking Milwaukeeans what they think about police-community relations here.

We started at Neuvo Mercado El Rey on South Cesar E. Chavez Drive.

“All the policemen in the south side who I know are very friendly to the customers and to us. They do a really good job on the south side," El Rey co-owner Ernesto Villarreal says.

Cynthia Renteria, who was walking into El Rey, says she’s never had any kind of contact or problem with the police, but her father has had a few bad experiences.

Susan Bence

An independent survey released earlier this month indicated that most Milwaukee residents are somewhat, or very, satisfied with police.

Yet many people, especially minorities, view the police through a lens of frustration, anger, or even fear. The city could be at a pivotal juncture, however, with last month's retirement of longtime Police Chief Edward Flynn, and the eventual installation of a new leader.

Throughout WUWM's Project Milwaukee series this week, we've heard from police leaders, activists, and experts about what's being done to mend police-community relations in Milwaukee. We also wanted to hear how officers view the issue.

WUWM's Teran Powell sits down with Milwaukee Police Department Captain Heather Wurth, who's been with the police for more than 20 years, and 17-year veteran Sergeant Sheronda Grant.

Marti Mikkelson

For nearly two decades, Milwaukee County’s Community Prosecution Program has been teaming up police with the District Attorney’s office to respond to citizen complaints. While it remains popular with residents, the program appears to be in jeopardy.

The federal government stopped funding the program last year. Only three of the seven Community Prosecution Units remain in operation in Milwaukee County, that is until they spend the last of the money allotted to them in previous years.

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