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Winner - Best Tasting Water in Wisconsin, 2013 WWA State Fair competition


Unit Well 7


Project Engineer:  Al Larson, P.E.:

(608) 266-4653

Madison Water Utility Engineering Section:

(608) 266-4646

General/ Water Quality/ CAP Volunteering

(608) 266-4651


Construction is well underway off North Sherman Ave. near Sherman Middle School. The new facility should be completed by next summer.

Photo below: Concrete being poured for the foundation of the new water well facility, which will include two booster pumps, an iron & manganese filtration system, 500,000 gallon reservoir, and backup generator.

Well 7 construction















You can learn more about the project and the reasons behind rebuilding on our Inside MWU page.


Rebuilding and expanding Madison's 1930s-era Well 7 facility on North Sherman Ave.

Estimated Total construction cost = $5,300,000

Construction Completion = May 2015

Well Capacity = 2,200 gallons per minute

Filter type = High Rate Pyrolucite media

Reservoir Capacity = 500,000 gallons

Booster Pump Capacity = 2 pumps each with 2,100 gallon per minute capacity

Standby Generator


Neighbors participating in our Citizen Advisory Process (CAP) for the project felt strongly that the new facility should blend in as much as possible with rest of the largely residential neighborhood -- no big concrete box. Although the new Well 7 will be much larger than the previous 1939 building, steps were taken in the design phase to make the facility look as small and unobtrusive as possible. The design features varied angles and stone textures to break it up and make it appear smaller.

Well 7 design drawing















People living in the neighborhood also wanted to make sure the large maple tree beside the building would be unharmed by construction. You can see from the photo below, the tree has been fenced off and is being carefully preserved.

Maple tree near construction site














A neighborhood open house will be held following construction. If you would like to participate in our Citizen Advisory Process for this or any other project, please contact us at (608) 266-4651 or


Why are you doing this project?

Well 7 is a key water supply, transmission, and water storage facility within the Madison drinking water system. The well provides drinking water supply to over 10,000 residents on the north side of Madison. Water quality concerns resulting from iron and manganese at or above secondary standards make the need for a filter a priority. Iron and manganese can cause staining on plumbing fixtures, and colored water events are disruptive to area residents. In addition, the existing facility is in need of significant repair and upgrading. It does not meet current standards or DNR codes for reliability, redundancy or capacity, and employee access issues make maintenance a problem.

The proposed facility will remove iron and manganese from the water. It will provide a reservoir with a capacity of 500,000 gallons to fight fires and provide water supply in an emergency. Standby generation and redundant pumps will ensure operation of the well even during an emergency or natural disaster.


Why don’t you just modify the existing pump station and reservoir and use it?

The existing facility is too small and would require major work to meet current needs. This would limit functionality, it would drive up construction costs, and would impact long term operation of the facility.

MWU will be making a photographic record of the facility, salvaging significant items from the building and will be incorporating some of the stone into the new facility.


Why did you have to buy two houses for this project?

There was not sufficient space on the existing lot to construct the new facility. The property owners were contacted and an equitable settlement was negotiated in addition to relocation assistance.


Where will I get my water during construction?

Madison’s water system is interconnected and the area will be served by several other wells: Well 13 on Wheeler Road, Well 15 on East Washington, Well 11 on Dempsey, and Well 29 on Mesta Lane.


Will my water service be interrupted during construction?

While some very short term (4 to 6 hours) interruptions in the immediate vicinity of the project may occur, no other interruptions are anticipated.


Will I notice a change in my water quality?

Following construction of the filter, you will notice less staining on plumbing fixtures and there will be less chance for colored water events in your neighborhood. No change in taste and odor is anticipated.


What will the new facility look like?

Architectural renderings of the new facility are available on this web page. The structure will have multiple flat roof levels and a variety of building materials to give it interest and shape.


Will the facility make a lot of noise?

Noise levels will be similar to that currently produced by the structure. The standby generator will be exercised monthly for a few hours. The generator will be fitted with noise control baffles that will limit the sound coming from the facility when the generator is running.


How long will it take to build?

Construction will take a year to complete. It is expected to start in April 2014 and be complete by May 2015.


Will there be a lot of traffic to this facility once it is constructed?

Well 7 will be visited our operation personnel once a day for about 15 to 20 minutes. On occasion a maintenance crew will spend a day at the facility servicing the filters and pumps.


Planning Division Staff Report:  August 2, 2013

Urban Design Commission review of the Well 7 Reconstruction Project took place on Wednesday, May 8, 2013.


A Public Hearing was held before the Water Utility Board on Monday, March 25, 2013 to approve the design for the reconstructed facility.


A Citizen Advisory Panel (CAP) meeting was held Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at the

Warner Park Community Center.


A Public Meeting was held Thursday, February 21, 2013 at Warner Park.


A Citizen Advisory Panel (CAP) Meeting was held Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at the Sherman Middle School Cafeteria to discuss site layout and preliminary architectural renderings.


A Citizen Advisory Panel (CAP) Meeting was held Thursday, November 29, 2012 at the Sherman Middle School Cafeteria.


A Citizen Advisory Panel (CAP) Meeting was held Thursday, October 25, 2012 at the Sherman Middle School Cafeteria.

The Madison Water Utility requested proposals for engineering design services for an iron and manganese filter and facility reconstruction at Madison Water Utility Well 7.

A Public Meeting was held regarding Well 7 Filtration on Tuesday, July 31, 2012 on site at 1613 N. Sherman Ave.

Public meetings
were held on Monday, April 16, 2012 at the Goodman Community Center and Thursday, April 19 at the Warner Park Community Recreation Center for the Well 7, Well 8, and East Isthmus Replacement Well projects.

A Well 7 CAP Meeting was held on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at the Sherman Middle School Cafeteria.

A Well 7 and Well 8 CAP meeting was held on Monday, February 27 at the Goodman Community Center.

A Public Meeting on Iron and Manganese Filtration for Wells 7 and 8 was held Tuesday, January 31, 2012 at the Goodman Community Center.


East Side Water Supply Project

In July 2010, Madison Water Utility (MWU) began the East Side Water Supply (ESWS) Project, a major water supply planning project that paired professional and scientific expertise with community engagement to recommend future infrastructure on Madison's East Side. In October 2010, a Citizen Advisory Panel (CAP) was formed for this project. The CAP met and advised MWU on public expectations for drinking water quality, water supply and demand, and water conservation.

On July 12, 2011, the ESWS CAP presented three advisories to the Water Utility Board:


On July 26, 2011 the Water Utility Board approved four recommendations, including the following:

Accept the recommendation of the East Side Water Supply Citizens
Advisory Panel and staff to use an appropriate treatment technology to remove iron and manganese from Unit Well 7. Allow room for potential future treatment needs. Continue the Public Participation Process with a Well 7 Citizens Advisory Panel through Phase 2 - Facility Site Selection and Phase 3 - Facility Design.