Impaired Water - Milwaukee River (Milwaukee River)
Milwaukee, Ozaukee County, Wisconsin
MI02
15000
2.90 - 19.35
16.45
Water is impaired due to one or more pollutants and associated quality impacts.
Notes
This segment of Milwaukee River was identified as impaired in 1998 for high PCB levels in fish tissues and high bacteria (E. coli) levels in the water. During the 2014 cycle phosphorus was identified as too high and in the 2016 cycle elevated temperature was identified. This Milwaukee River segment was evaluated every two-year cycle from 2014 and 2022. The phosphorus and bacteria listings are covered by the Milwaukee River TMDL, approved in 2018.
Listing Details
Pollutant
Unknown Pollutant
Listed For
Fish and Aquatic Life
Impairments
Elevated Water Temperature
Current Use
Supported Aquatic Life
Listing Status
303d Listed
Attainable Use
Supported Aquatic Life
Priority
Low
Designated Use
Supported Aquatic Life
303(d) ID
2016-006
Listing Date
4/1/2016
Impaired Water Notes
This water was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; new temperature sample data exceed 2018 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use.
Date
3/30/2017

 
Pollutant
Total Phosphorus
Listed For
Fish and Aquatic Life
Impairments
Impairment Unknown
Current Use
Supported Aquatic Life
Listing Status
TMDL Approved
Attainable Use
Supported Aquatic Life
Priority
Not Applicable
Designated Use
Supported Aquatic Life
303(d) ID
2014-4
Listing Date
4/1/2014
Impaired Water Notes
The Milwaukee River Watershed TMDL was approved by the EPA on March 9, 2018 and covers waters in the basin impaired for Total Phosphorus, Sediment/Total Suspended Solids, and bacteria (E. coli and Fecal Coliform).
Date
3/9/2018

Impaired Water Notes
This water was assessed during the 2014 listing cycle; total phosphorus sample data exceed 2014 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use, however, no biological data (i.e. no macroinvertebrate or fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scores) were available to assess biological impairment.
Date
1/2/2014

Impaired Water Notes
This water was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; new total phosphorus sample data exceed 2018 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use, however, available biological data do not indicate impairment (i.e. no macroinvertebrate or fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scored in the "poor" condition category).
Date
3/30/2017

Impaired Water Notes
This water was assessed during the 2020 listing cycle; new total phosphorus sample data exceed 2020 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish Aquatic Life use.
Date
8/16/2019

Impaired Water Notes
This water was assessed during the 2022 listing cycle; new total phosphorus sample data exceed 2022 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish Aquatic Life use.
Date
4/14/2021

 
Pollutant
PCBs
Listed For
Fish Consumption
Impairments
PCBs Contaminated Fish Tissue
Current Use
Specific Restricted Fish Consumption
Listing Status
303d Listed
Attainable Use
Unrestricted Fish Consumption
Priority
Low
Designated Use
Unrestricted Fish Consumption
303(d) ID
291
Listing Date
4/1/1998
Impaired Water Notes
This water had a TMDL for PCBs approved by the EPA in 2008.
Date
2/25/2008

Impaired Water Notes
The Milwaukee River is a 48-mile long, warm water stream that runs through Fond du Lac, Washington, Ozaukee and Milwaukee Counties and discharges to Lake Michigan by way of the Milwaukee River Estuary in the City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee County. The Milwaukee River South Watershed land cover is a mix of urban use (33%) and rural use that include agriculture (25%), grasslands (21%), forests (12%) and wetlands (6%) (WDNR 2001).
The WDNR placed the first 30-miles of the Milwaukee River extending from Lake Michigan at river mile 0 to the Lime Kiln Dam (Village of Grafton, Ozaukee County) at river mile 30 on Wisconsin’s 303(d) Impaired Waters List for Fish Consumption Advisories (FCAs) due to PCBs in contaminated sediment (Figure 1 and Table 1). Within the 30-mile long 303(d) listed reach of the Milwaukee River, two river segments contain significant concentrations and mass of PCBs in sediment that contribute to the river’s fish consumption advisory.

The Milwaukee River Segment 1 extends from the river’s confluence with Lake Michigan at river mile 0 to the Thiensville Dam at river mile 20. The Estabrook Impoundment is located in River Segment 1 in Milwaukee County and is a 103-acre and 0.9-mile long pool formed by the Estabrook Park Dam at river mile 7. The Estabrook Impoundment contains over 100,000 cubic
yards of sediment contaminated with an estimated 5,200 Kg of PCBs.

Previous work on the Milwaukee River system shows that remediation of the Estabrook Impoundment sediment deposit would result in a long-term reduction in PCB mass transport of up to 70% for the Milwaukee River (Baird & Associates 1997, Steuer et al. 1999). The Milwaukee River Segment 2 extends from the Thiensville Dam at river mile 20 to the Lime Kiln Dam at river mile 30 in the Village of Grafton. River Segment 2 includes the Thiensville
Impoundment, a 700-acre and 5-miles of free-flowing river. Median surficial PCB sediment concentrations are approximately 0.2 mg/kg and 1 mg/kg at intermediate sediment depths. While Thiensville Impoundment sediments contribute to PCB contamination in Milwaukee River fish and wildlife, the greatest benefit toward reducing PCBs in Milwaukee River fish and wildlife
populations would result following an expedited remediation of PCB contaminated sediment in Cedar Creek (Baird & Associates, 1997).

Unlike the Milwaukee River Segment 1, River Segment 2 is directly and uniquely impacted by PCBs discharged from Cedar Creek. Furthermore, River Segment 2 resident fish and wildlife populations are generally confined between the Thiensville Dam and the Lime Kiln Dam. For these reasons, this TMDL includes the first 5 miles of Cedar Creek upstream of the confluence with the Milwaukee River, and the entire 10 miles of the Milwaukee River’s
River Segment 2 that extends from the Thiensville Dam to the Lime Kiln Dam in the Village of Grafton (Figure 1).
Date

 
Pollutant
E. coli
Listed For
Recreation
Impairments
Recreational Restrictions - Pathogens
Current Use
Restricted Recreation
Listing Status
TMDL Approved
Attainable Use
Full Body Contact - Swimming, Boating
Priority
Not Applicable
Designated Use
Full Body Contact - Swimming, Boating
303(d) ID
291
Listing Date
4/1/1998
Impaired Water Notes
The Milwaukee River Watershed TMDL was approved by the EPA on March 9, 2018 and covers waters in the basin impaired for Total Phosphorus, Sediment/Total Suspended Solids, and bacteria (E. coli and Fecal Coliform).
Date
3/9/2018