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South Milwaukee, Wisconsin

2010 ACEC Wisconsin Best of State Award Winner

Donohue & Associates and the City of South Milwaukee received a Best of State award in the 2010 ACEC Wisconsin Engineering Excellence competition. The award recognizes the planning, design, and construction of innovative improvements to South Milwaukee’s water treatment facility.

The South Milwaukee Water Utility has one of the oldest water treatment facilities along the Lake Michigan shoreline and desired a higher level of water quality that would meet the drinking water needs for the next generation of South Milwaukee residents. The Utility challenged Donohue to convert its existing sand filtration process to a state-of-the-art ultra-filtration pressurized membrane system—the first of its kind in Wisconsin. The membrane technology provides a verifiable barrier against viruses, turbidity, suspended solids, and pathogen contamination of the City’s drinking water supply.

A creative design layout made extensive use of existing buildings, as all new systems were placed within the confines of the existing footprint. The construction cost for a typical membrane water filtration facility is $2-$3/gallon of water treated, but through Donohue’s reuse of existing facilities, the project cost approximately $1.40/gallon. The system has the capacity to treat 6 million gallons per day. Also of note is the complex construction sequencing that allowed the facility to continuously treat water while the facilities underwent a complete transformation during construction.