Q. What am I paying for on my sewer bill? And who is NEW Water?
A. In Northeast Wisconsin, if you are hooked up to a municipal sewer system, your municipality (city, village, town, etc.) likely sends you a sewer bill for services to take away whatever you flush, dispose, or pour down the toilets, drains and pipes in your home.
NEW Water, the brand of the Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District, is a wholesale provider to 18 municipal customers around Northeast Wisconsin (see service map here). NEW Water takes and cleans the wastewater from these communities – and sends it back into the environment, to the tune of about 38 million gallons each day.
For these services, NEW Water charges the same rate to each municipal customer. Those municipalities will likely have different rates for their residential customers because they may need to include additional charges on your bill in order to cover their costs, such as operations, maintenance, and administration.
NEW Water has been serving Northeast Wisconsin since 1931. NEW Water owns $300 million in fixed assets; maintains and operates 79 miles of gravity interceptors, 31 miles of forcemain and 1,206 manhole structures, lift stations, meter stations, and two treatment facilities. NEW Water is permitted and regulated by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. NEW Water is a nonprofit organization, and strives to match expected expenditures with revenues each year, while operating around the clock to provide the community with nonstop services.
NEW Water invites you to witness the journey of 38 million gallons of water! Tours of NEW Water are open and free of charge to the public! Click here to sign up for a tour today.
Q. How much wastewater do you treat?
A. On average, we treat about 38 million gallons per day (MGD), 30 mgd at the Green Bay facility and 8 MGD at the De Pere facility.
Q. Does the water freeze in the winter?
A. No, with an average flow at the Green Bay facility of 21,000 gallons per minute, it doesn't have a chance to freeze.
Q. Is there a concern with equipment freezing in the winter?
A. No. Most all of our equipment is located in over three miles of tunnels below ground, because we live in a changing climate.
Q. Can you drink the water?
A. No. While our final effluent is safe to recycle back to the environment, it is not treated to meet drinking water standards.
Q. How long does it take to clean the wastewater?
A. With an average flow of 30 MGD at our Green Bay facility, it takes 21 hours from when it enters the facility until it is discharged to the Fox River.
Q. How many people work there?
A. We currently have over 90 full-time employees for two wastewater treatment facilities, though we do hire interns and seasonal employees.
Q. Do you offer tours of the facility?
A. Yes. Tours generally last 1.5 hours, with a capacity of 30 people per group. Find out more or schedule a tour here.