Waukesha’s Great Water Alliance Program Solves Public Health Crisis

Waukesha’s Great Water Alliance Program Solves Public Health Crisis

Project Completions
Waukesha Drinking Water

Community celebrates seamless transition to Lake Michigan water

TYLin, a globally recognized full-service infrastructure consulting firm, in partnership with Greeley and Hansen, A TYLin Company, announces the successful completion of the Great Water Alliance Program. In a first-of-its-kind achievement, 100% of the residents and businesses of the City of Waukesha, Wisconsin, have seamlessly transitioned from a contaminated groundwater source to the sustainable waters of Lake Michigan under the Great Lakes Compact. This accomplishment marks a defining moment in safeguarding public health, environmental stewardship, and long-term water security for Waukesha’s 72,000 residents. It also sets an industry precedent for solving water quality and scarcity challenges in at-risk communities across the Great Lakes region.

The Waukesha Water Utility (WWU) faced a critical challenge when the depletion of its primary source of drinking water, the St. Peter Sandstone aquifer, increased concentrations of radium and other contaminants. Working alongside WWU, Greeley and Hansen acted as program manager to plan, design, construct, and commission a resilient water infrastructure system with a 100-year design life. Greeley and Hansen’s design enabled a net-zero water balance with the Lake Michigan watershed. The firm’s innovative approach, cost-sharing initiatives with neighboring counties and cities, securing USD 137 million of WIFIA funding at very low interest rates, and highly effective public communications plan kept the project on time and USD 4 million under budget.

Incredibly, there were near zero complaints from residents and businesses during the transition, which speaks volumes about the program’s success and the exceptional collaboration of all stakeholders, including city officials, regulatory bodies, and the dedicated professionals who worked tirelessly to make this vision a reality.

The multi-year, multimillion-dollar program required substantial new infrastructure, including weaving 36 miles of transmission and force mains through urban environments already congested with existing utilities; water supply and return flow pumping stations; outfall facilities; water supply connections; two ground storage reservoirs; a water tower; chemical feed facilities; and distribution system improvements. The program required route studies, hydraulic modeling, water quality analysis, the timely procurement of over 90 permits, and coordination across seven communities, two counties, and multiple federal agencies. Greeley and Hansen designed the system to meet the city’s needs 50+ years from now.

The Great Water Alliance Program, with its adaptable and forward-thinking approach, set new standards for community engagement, agency collaboration, and engineering excellence. It is not just a water infrastructure project; it’s a groundbreaking model that will influence future water supply initiatives and regional programs.

Great Water Alliance Team
Representatives from Greeley and Hansen and the City of Waukesha celebrate the completion of the Great Water Alliance Program. Back row from left: Senior Vice President Andy Martin, Program Manager Katie Richardson, Waukesha Water Utility General Manager Dan Duchniak, Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly, Deputy Program Manager Ryan Christopher, Pipeline Design Lead Ted Bluver. Front row from left:  Program Engineers Dahria Uwamahoro and Karissa Brunette


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