NEW Water celebrates nine decades of water treatment
December 2021 - The Press Times featured NEW Water, the brand of the Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District, for the celebration of 90 years of service to the community.
“Our history is not that much different from a lot of utilities around that time,” NEW Water Executive Director Tom Sigmund said. “There was a lot of industry in Green Bay – whether it was food processing, meat packaging, paper production. Back in the 1920s, we produced a lot of stuff, and it was intended to be discharged directly to either Fox River or East River, and the pollution just became so bad that in around the 20s, they started saying ‘we need to do something.’ The water wasn’t anything anybody wanted to be around.”
NEW Water, the brand of the Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District (GBMSD), was formed Dec. 4, 1931, with the first treatment plant operational in early 1935.
Sigmund said the person considered to be the “father of GBMSD” was a local attorney named Meyer Cohen.
“He realized that we were just not on a sustainable path,” he said. “He had seen that this concept about a metropolitan sewer district could be formed instead of just each community doing their own thing… But, Meyer thought a metropolitan sewerage district could be a lot more effective and efficient at providing the services. So, Meyer kind of drafted up the language and pulled together the city leaders at the time, and basically formed the district in 1931.”
- From The Press Times, Dec. 24, 2021