Water Utility

Water Utility BuildingThe Cudahy Water Utility was established by the City of Cudahy in 1954 to provide safe clean water to the residents and businesses of the City. The utility has a conventional surface water treatment plant that uses plentiful and high quality water from Lake Michigan as a water source. A conventional surface water treatment plant uses flocculation, sedimentation, filtration and disinfection to treat water. The water utility also supplies untreated lake water to 2 industrial  customers for use in manufacturing  processes.

The water utility supplied an average of 2.40 million gallons and a peak of 5.1 million gallons of treated water per day and a average of 1.06 million gallons per day of untreated water in 2012. The treatment plant has the capacity to produce 6.0 million gallons of water per day. This water is delivered to  approximately 5751 customers through 59 miles of underground watermain. The water utility also maintains 576 fire hydrants throughout the city.


1897        Cudahy Bros. Packing Company starts a private company, the Cudahy Waterworks Co. to supply water to the meat packing   plant. Over time the Cudahy Waterworks Co. begins to supply untreated water to city residents.

1954        The City of Cudahy creates a water utility and builds a filtration plant. The City water supply is treated and disinfected for the first time. The water utility buys Lake Michigan water from the Cudahy Waterworks Co. and treats it.

1961        The City of Cudahy Water Utility purchases the raw water pumping station on the shore of Lake Michigan from the Cudahy  Waterworks Co.

1963        The filter plant is expanded, sedimentation basin #1 and filter beds 1-4 are added.

1971        A new lake shore pumping station is built and a new 42 inch diameter intake pump is installed 5200 feet out into Lake Michigan.

1973        A second filtration plant expansion adds sedimentation basins 2 & 3, filters 5-8, and 1.5 million gallons of underground storage.

1991        The filter plant is automated with the installation of a new computer control system.

1992        Milwaukee water is found to contain cryptosporidium which has caused several hundred thousand people to become ill. The Cudahy Water Utility finds no traces of crypto in the Cudahy water supply and local residents are not affected by the problem.

1998        The lakeshore pump station is updated with new pumps, new electrical  controls and a new  emergency pump to increase reliability during power outages.

2000       The filtration plant installs new granular carbon filters and a new powdered carbon feed system to combat a seasonal taste and odor problem.

2002       A radio read metering system is installed along with new billing software.

2004       The first ultraviolet disinfection system in the Midwest is installed to add an extra barrier against disease or infection.

2006       Trenchless technology, or “pipe bursting” is used by the utility for the first time to replace old water main on Whitnall Avenue.

2008       The Filtration Plant control system is upgraded with new PLC’s, software and computers.