March 11 every year … everywhere

Plumbing is vital to global health

Imagine driving on a road that hasn’t been resurfaced in 60 years. Believe it or not, much of the pipe used to provide water to people across the city of Madison is at least 60 years old. Some pipes date back to the 1880s when Madison Water Utility was created.

Madison Water Utility provides safe and reliable water to more than 66,500 households, hospitals and businesses using:

  • 850 miles of pipe
  • 22 active wells
  • 7 pump stations
  • 5 water towers
  • 3 ground-level reservoirs

Madison is also the first city in the state to use water main relining technology, giving aging pipes new life at a lower cost than replacement.

Just consider some of the parameters of the Gates Foundation’s first Reinvent the Toilet Challenge: Create a “practical” toilet that is suitable for a single-family residence in the developing world. Make sure it takes in the bodily waste of an entire family and outputs drinkable water and condiments, like salt. And while you’re at it, make sure that the toilet is microprocessor-supervised and converts feces into energy. And all this has to cost just pennies per person per day. That’s some toilet.

The winner of last year’s contest invented a solar-powered toilet that converts poop into energy for cooking. Impressive — but each one costs $1,000.

ekocenterToday, more than 1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water and approximately 2.5 billion don’t have adequate sanitation, making billions of people around the world vulnerable to disease and other development challenges.

To help provide communities in need with access to safe drinking water and other basic necessities, The Coca-Cola Company, together with DEKA R&D, and other critical partners including development banks, NGOs and companies, launched EKOCENTER™ – a downtown in a box – with the Slingshot™ water purification system  housed within the community center


Darn tasty water

It’s not every day that MWU employees stand before the Madison Common Council surrounded by cheers and applause. But it’s also not every day that the city is honored by the Wisconsin Water Association (WWA) for having the best-tasting water in the state.

Micah MacArthur displays the bubbler that he built in front of his house for public use in Riverwest


Because of this commercial my 6-year-old son has decided to flush a block of wood down the toilet to see if it would go down…. Now it is stuck, and we may have to hire a plumber…ASChampion


Waterwise is a UK NGO focused on decreasing water consumption in the UK and building the evidence base for large scale water efficiency. We are the leading authority on water efficiency in the UK.

Quick Tips

Q: How can you be water wise?

A: It’s easier than you think. Simple actions can have big impacts. – See more here.

April 16, 2013 1:45 pm  •  BILL NOVAK |

The Madison Water Utility has started to shut off service to customers who have reportedly ignored repeated requests for answering notices about the new smart meter system.

“A handful of customers have received bright orange final disconnection notices taped to their doors, telling them their water service will be disconnected today, April 16, if they fail to contact Madison Water Utility,” the city said in a news release.

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