Learn more and see if you qualify for the Clean Water for Pregnant People Program (CWPP). Questions?
Call 608-206-1756
All donations are tax-deductible.
CannedWater4kids is a registered 501(c)(3)

16,000 pregnant moms in the city of Milwaukee are being exposed to dangerous levels of Lead in their water supply.

We recently learned that approximately 16,000 pregnant people in the city of Milwaukee are being exposed daily to dangerously elevated levels of lead in their water supply.[1] Lead-contaminated water consumed by pregnant people can lead to fatal miscarriage or a child born with permanent brain, kidney, and nervous system damage as well as low birth weight, critical learning, and behavioral problems. [2]

Safe, drinking water for each mom costs us $125.00 every month.
Your support will ensure that relief continues throughout their pregnancy. Together, we can make a difference. Donate a dollar or more it doesn’t matter. Every dollar helps. Thank you. 

Unborn children
urgently need our help.
Please Donate.

All donations are tax-deductible.
CannedWater4kids is a registered 501(c)(3)
cw4k water heart X
water pregnant mom project 02 X

Why is lead in the water?

There are two primary sources of lead in water in Milwaukee: lead from the lateral pipe that connects the home to the watermain, and lead from interior pipes within the home that are made or soldered with lead. In 1872, the City of Milwaukee Water Works mandated that lead pipes had to be used to connect to the water main. This mandate lasted until 1950 and most of the homes built between 1872 and 1950 have lead laterals. Lead laterals were also of optional use from 1950-1962, when they were formally banned, so several thousand more homes were built in this period with lead laterals.[1] It is unknown how many homes have some kind of lead hazard related to interior pipes.

Can It be Fixed?

This is absolutely a solvable problem, but it will take careful budgeting and political will. Every lead lateral in the City of Milwaukee needs to be removed at the expense of the City of Milwaukee, which mandated their use. The City of Milwaukee Water Works is currently at a 70-year pace to replace the lead laterals and this is simply too slow. There also needs to be widespread inspections of the internal water pipes in homes to determine if there is a lead hazard present, though the cost of removal of internal pipes is the responsibility of the homeowner. Under the Biden Infrastructure plan, Wisconsin has been allocated $48 million for lead lateral removal. While this is a significant amount, it is nowhere near the estimated $750 million that it will cost to replace every lateral and this money will not be available for at least a year.

What Can we do Now?

CW4K Canned Water provides immediate, temporary help. CannedWater4kids has agreed to supply qualifying pregnant people with safe, lead-free canned drinking water delivered to their homes for up to 12 months. Specifically, a pregnant person would receive 6 cases of CW4K Canned drinking water per month (144 aluminum bottles) or 72 cases per year.

We are looking for donors to help us offset the cost of the water and delivery charges. Click the DONATE button above and help us save children in Milwaukee. Remember, if children are our future, but lead poisoning prevents them from having one, Milwaukee – and our planet is in trouble.

What can be done in the near future?

We are working closely with several grassroots organizations to finalize a clean water solution with greater capacity, access, and reach. This solution, once approved, could be operational in a couple of months. Check back often for updates.


[1] There are approximately 258,000 homes in the city of Milwaukee, in which approximately 577,000 people live. There are around 73,000 homes that have lead laterals. Based on birth rate trends, we estimate that 10 births per thousand will take place in Milwaukee in 2022. Using a basic mathematical assessment, we find that somewhere in the range of 16,000 people will be pregnant at some time during 2022. Wisconsin Department of Health Services, “Birth Rate (Births per 1,000 Population) Wisconsin and the United States, Selected Years 1950-2020″ https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/wish/fertility/birth-rate.htm; Data Commons Place Explorer, Milwaukee Housing Data from 2020 US Census, https://datacommons.org/place/geoId/5553000?category=Housing; Milwaukee Water Works, Lead Service Line Records, https://city.milwaukee.gov/water/WaterQuality/LeadandWater/Lead-Service-Line-Records;
[2] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Childhood Lead Poisoning and Prevention, Pregnant Women, https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/prevention/pregnant.htm; Mayo Clinic, Lead Poisoning, Symptoms, and causes in newborns, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lead-poisoning/symptoms-causes/syc-20354717;
[3] Get the Lead Out Coalition, Drinking Water Maps, Maps Presented to EPA Region 5 Officials, http://leadfreemke.com/drinking-water-maps.
[4] ‘It’s criminal’: Milwaukeeans call for speedier lead pipeline removal to cut childhood poisoning, Diana Butsko, Wisconsin Watch, https://wisconsinwatch.org/2021/09/its-criminal-milwaukeeans-call-for-speedier-lead-pipeline-removal-to-cut-childhood-poisoning/; Milwaukee Water Works, Water Quality, Lead and Water, https://city.milwaukee.gov/water/WaterQuality/LeadandWater;
[5] $750 Million to Replace Lead Pipes, Jeramey Jannene, Urban Milwaukee, https://urbanmilwaukee.com/2018/01/24/eyes-on-milwaukee-750-million-to-replace-lead-pipes/; VP Harris Touts Lead Pipe Removal In Milwaukee Visit, Jeramey Jannene, Urban Milwaukee, https://urbanmilwaukee.com/2022/01/24/vp-harris-touts-lead-pipe-removal-in-milwaukee-visit/; Federal Funding for Lead Pipe Removal Likely a Year Away, Jeramey Jannene, Urban Milwaukee, https://urbanmilwaukee.com/2022/01/26/city-hall-federal-funding-for-lead-pipe-removal-likely-a-year-away/;

Questions? Please Call 608-206-1756 or EMAIL us > email

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