NEW Water, the brand of the Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District, has been proudly serving Northeast Wisconsin since 1931. Our staff work around the clock so that our community can do laundry, run their businesses, and flush the toilet whenever they want. Here are “10 Things to Know” about this utility which proudly provides cost-effective, critical community services.
- Public health and safety is at the core of all we do. NEW Water takes seriously its responsibility to ensure protection of public health and safety for the families, business, and industries who rely on this nonstop service. While out of sight, and unfortunately “out of mind,” efforts by sanitary sewerage districts are a cornerstone of public health.
- Environmental stewardship. We are committed to meeting regulatory requirements as set out by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. For a more cost-effective approach for permit compliance, NEW Water is adopting Adaptive Management through its NEW Watershed Program, which will also achieve greater environmental gain for the community, for generations to come. Additionally, NEW Water pursues pollution prevention strategies to more cost-effectively, and sustainably, address source reduction of emerging contaminants such as PFAS.
- Security of operations for community protection. NEW Water takes an aggressive approach to the security and cybersecurity of operations in alignment with best practices, standards, and requirements, as set out by, and in partnership with, agencies including: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Wisconsin Emergency Management, Brown County Emergency Management, and local law enforcement. As NEW Water serves 238,000 residents, it is imperative that security is a key component of all our operations.
- Fiscal responsibility. NEW Water takes a proactive approach to stewardship of financial resources, including: implementing Lean Six Sigma for operational efficiencies and cost savings; achieving permit compliance at the lowest cost; ensuring continuous compliance with Government Accounting Standards; securing low-cost Clean Water Fund financing for infrastructure improvement projects; refinancing of bonds; producing electricity through resource recovery to avoid significant energy costs; offsetting costs through grants for research, monitoring, and watershed improvements.
- Commitment to water quality. The community is reliant on a safe, quality water supply. Green Bay and the lower Fox River are designated impaired bodies of water, suffering from pollution and excess runoff. In 2022, NEW Water returned about 15 billion gallons of clean water back into these receiving waters, which flow into Lake Michigan, a major source of drinking water for the residents of Northeast Wisconsin. NEW Water is highly engaged with the water quality community, in partnership with University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Brown County Land & Water Conservation, Fox Demo Farms Network, Clean Bay Backers, The Nature Conservancy, and more.
- National Recognition for Operational Excellence. NEW Water is among a handful of utilities in the U.S. to achieve 100% permit compliance for 20 consecutive years. Resource Recovery and Electrical Energy (R2E2) and the De Pere Facility electrical generation project are examples of recent improvements driven by regulatory compliance, capacity needs, end of useful life criteria, and system reliability.
- Equitable distribution of costs. Rates are the same for every municipal customer. NEW Water is a wholesale provider of services to 15 municipal customers in Northeast Wisconsin. Each municipality (city, village, town, sanitary district), additionally charges rates to its residents for the maintenance and operations of their own specific sewer systems. For the 2023 budget,
- Municipal customer rates from NEW Water do not subsidize industries and businesses. In addition to municipal customers, industries, and businesses also contribute to the system. NEW Water is proud to support economic development, as well as equitable distribution of cost, based on usage. Green Bay Packaging’s water re-use initiative is an example of sustainable support of economic development.
- Planning for continuation of reliable service. Capital Improvement Planning is underway to address stricter environmental limits, aging infrastructure, and capacity concerns related to record rainfalls (which have caused up to three times the amount of water getting into the sanitary sewer system and coming to NEW Water to be cleaned). NEW Water is actively partnering with municipal customers to provide cost-effective and reliable services, while upholding our responsibilities for regulatory compliance.
- Governance. NEW Water is governed by a five-member Board of Commissioners, appointed by the Brown County Executive, and approved by the Brown County Board. The NEW Water Commission serves at-large, comprised of residents from across Northeast Wisconsin with diverse professional backgrounds and expertise in finance, business, industry, engineering, utility management, community service, and municipal governance.
Dec 2020 - WBAY featured NEW Water's 'out of sight' essential workers in the news, highlighting the unseen workers protecting our most valuable resource, water.