Waukesha County Water

More information on Waukesha water, what’s new? The city of Waukesha has many unanswered questions since the 2016 announcement about getting water from Lake Michigan. Homeowners are seeing higher water bills with lingering confusion as to why these changes must be made.

To get a bit technical, the natural depletion of a formation of thick shale rock restricts rain and snowmelt from flowing through the ground and recharging the water supply, virtually diminishing the fresh water supply. When the water levels in this deep aquifer decrease, levels of natural contaminants increase (radium, arsenic, iron, etc.). The city needs to combat against this contaminant increase to provide clean water for the area. The secondary source of water in the Waukesha area is shallow groundwater wells. While these always seem like a smart source for water, installing too many of these wells in city limits can cause permanent environmental impacts on brooks, streams, and wildlife habitats, meaning this is also not a viable option.

To sum Waukesha’s water situation up for you, current groundwater supply does not comply with safe drinking water standards, and is environmentally unsustainable.  Receiving water from the great lakes were deemed the best option for long-term, dependable, and sustainable water supply to the city of Waukesha. The plan is to gear Waukesha up with Lake Michigan water, projected to be completed by 2023, providing homeowners and businessowners alike with the suitable water you deserve.

For more details on Waukesha, and this change, visit the Great Water Alliance FAQ section.

Waukesha County Water

Well, what if you live in Waukesha County but not the City? We have information on your water too! The changes to the water supply in the city of Waukesha will not affect the remaining areas of Waukesha County. The majority of Central and Western Waukesha county receive or will receive city water. However, Waukesha County is home to over 40,000 private wells, with most not being tested for coliform bacteria and other contaminants, which provide their own unique pros and cons. With all this being said, hard water is the most common issue in Waukesha County.

You may be wondering, water hardness, what’s that? Well we, at Guthrie and Frey are glad you asked. Water is measured in grains of hardness – the higher the number, the harder your water is. Waukesha County water typically ranges from 20-100 grains of hardness. Our technicians will notice a drastic difference in hardness levels even in neighboring towns. Soft water on the other hand, is typically below 1 grain of hardness, helping prevent appliance issues and failures.

Thankfully, with custom water treatment solutions from Guthrie & Frey, you can keep your drinking water safe and appliances in tip-top shape.

Hard Water in Waukesha County

Don’t worry, you’re not alone because hard water is not uncommon in Wisconsin, and although it is not likely to have a negative effect on human health (in small amounts), it does cause a buildup in appliances and pipes within your home. If the buildup becomes too much, it can cause problems in appliances, sometimes resulting in a full replacement. Knowing how hard your water is can help prevent these issues from arising.


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Great Water Alliance

  • Will offer sustainable water supply to the city of Waukesha
  • Water from the Great Lakes will supply water to the city of Waukesha
  • Estimated to be completed by 2023

For more questions on what the Great Water Alliance means for your home’s water, just give us a call!

Scott Frey


Fun Fact

Killer whales are actually dolphins.

Start Date

May 2018

Service Area

Muskego, WI

What’s in my water?

ContaminantAbout the ContaminantSigns of the Contaminant
IronAlthough small amounts do not have a negative effect on your health, Iron is a contaminant that contains bacteria that feed off it. However, Large amounts of iron can be hazardous to your health.  Iron does not blend well with soap, leaving residue on your bathtub, appliances, and skin (causing clogged pores).Metallic taste which carries into your food and beverages

Leaves orange/red stains on anything the water touches

Iron residue build up can cause pipes to clog, thus decreasing water pressure in your home.
OdorIf your water has an odor, this means there is a contaminant in the water.Rotten egg smell
ArsenicArsenic has been found in several Ozaukee County homes causing negative effects on homeowner’s health.The only way to detect arsenic is to have your water professionally tested.
TanninsTannins can be a sign that your water is largely coming into your home from surface water. Although tannins is not harmful on its own, if it can travel from surface water to your groundwater source, so can pathogens and bacteria.Tannins cause a yellow stain on fixtures and laundry.
NitratesNitrates are formed naturally in surface and groundwater. Nitrogen is essential for all living things, but when consuming higher levels through drinking water, it can be hazardous especially to infants, and pregnant women. Nitrate spread entering private wells can come from a few different sources, such as, manure spreading, agricultural fertilizers, legume cropping systems, and septic systems.Like arsenic, the only way to tell if you have nitrates in your water is to have it professionally tested.

A Few Reasons why Waukesha County Loves Guthrie & Frey

Extensive Warranties

Rental rates will never be raised

Free Installation

Competitive pricing and rent-to-own options available

From the Senior Technician in Waukesha County:


Is water in the city of Waukesha safe to drink now?


Yes. The federal and state standards for drinking water are currently being met and the water is safe to drink. However, in the current situation, this will not be sustainable long-term.


Will I need a water softener after the Great Lakes project is complete?


It is hard to say what the level of hardness will be after the Lake Michigan water project is complete. This is because the water will be blending with other wells in Waukesha.  Our guess is that this hardness will end up being around 10 grains of hardness.  Most of our clients notice that their softeners are not functioning properly when they have around 3 grains of hardness, so 10 grains of hardness will be noticeable. We recommend having Guthrie & Frey come and reprogram your water softener for a new lower level of hardness after this project is complete.


What’s the difference between well water and city water?


Most homes in Waukesha county have municipal wells (city water), however there are over 40,000 private wells throughout the county. No matter where your water is sourced from, it has its unique pros and cons. Consider scheduling a free water test to see what’s in your water.


Does Waukesha County have hard water?


Yes! Typically, in Waukesha County, we see a range from 25-30 grains of hardness in the water, varying drastically from town to town. Soft water is less than 1 grain of hardness. To see what level your water is at, schedule a free water test!


Is hard water bad?


Hard water does not have a negative effect on your health, however, the contaminants cause buildup on appliances, causing them to fail prematurely. Additionally, hard water will leave a film, white chalky build up. or red/orange stain on anything it touches.(red/orange staining is typically is a result of iron staining.

Have A Different Question for Us? Contact Us

Recommended Water Treatment Techniques for Waukesha County


Iron Curtain Junior

Filter iron and reduce rotten egg odor, all without the use of chemicals.

Ideal For:

  • Low-cost of operation.
  • Highly oxygenated water.
  • Custom designs for larger homes.
  • Economical option for moderate iron and odor.

GF Series Water Softener System

Hard water can be much more problematic than you think. It can cause buildup of mineral scale inside your appliances and plumbing.

Ideal For:

  • Preventing scale buildup in home kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Improving the taste and texture of the water in your home.
  • Saving money on plumbing and appliance maintenance.
  • Ensuring cleaner clothes and dishes via cleaner water.

GF Twin Alternating Series: High-Efficient Water Softener

The Guthrie & Frey Twin Alternating Water Softener provides a continuous supply of softened water with no downtime for regeneration.

Ideal For:

  • Robust and efficient solutions
  • Reducing mineral scale and soap usage.
  • Energy efficient consumption of water-using equipment.
  • Reducing buildup in appliances like dishwashers and washing machines.
For Your Health

Reverse Osmosis System

If you replace the water your body needs by drinking tap water, your body is forced to act as a filter—straining out contaminants which can lead to health problems, including cancer, kidney damage, miscarriage, and gastrointestinal upsets. By contrast, a reverse osmosis water filter can distill your tap water to 99.9% pure!

Know The Facts

Arsenic Water Treatment

Arsenic is an element that occurs naturally in soil and bedrock. Traces of arsenic can also be found in groundwater, lakes, rivers and ocean water.

What people are saying about Guthrie & Frey in Waukesha County

“Wow! We have just had a wonderful experience buying a new water softener and iron filtration for our home. First off the young man who came out to the house to do the water test and make an assessment was friendly as can be and answered all of my questions in an easy to understand manner. There was no hard sell. He explained the pros and cons of different options and told me what the results would be. We enjoyed his visit so much we decided to purchase with your company. I’m thrilled to report the installation was wonderful as well! The guys who installed were super friendly, lots of smiles and great even though I had three barking dogs. LOL. They worked hard, answered my questions and cleaned up so well after they were here I couldn’t even tell what occurred. Thank you again, we will definitely recommend you to all of our friends and neighbors. Also a quick thumbs up to the nice people in the office who were great to work with as well. It’s so nice to speak with upbeat friendly people on the phone.”

Lisa H.

“Great customer service. The technicians that installed the softener unit were so patient and informative. I’ll recommend Guthrie and Frey any day!”

Justin H.

“Many thanks to Guthrie and Frey for replacing our water system today. They removed a nearly 20 year old Culligan set of equipment and replaced it in 3 hours with a brand new Iron Curtain and a 40,000 grain softener, and both systems are state-of-the-art and Wisconsin-made. Light years better! Zero pressure to “make a sale” and nothing but professionals from the consultant to the installers. Can’t say enough how awesome it was working with them.”

Bill L.