Raw Water Improvements (RWI) Project

The Sheboygan Water Utility has been planning to replace critical raw water infrastructure for many years. This includes all of the systems needed to acquire water from Lake Michigan and then send it through the water treatment plant: A New Intake Pipeline System, Shore well, and Low Lift Pumping Station. These critical systems provide water to all citizens of Sheboygan, Sheboygan Falls, and Kohler.

Preliminary engineering design work began in 2020. Construction work began in 2022. The project is expected to be completed in 2024. This is the Utility’s largest project since 1959

Project Updates

May 2024 Update: 

The Utility’s monumental RWI project is now on-line!  Starting in March, the new intake pipeline was opened and the new low lift pumping station began delivering raw water to the water treatment plant.  Because the new intake pipeline is further offshore, the incoming water quality has dramatically improved and less aluminum sulphate is needed to remove suspended material in the water.  In addition, the new intake pipeline is less susceptible to rain and snow melt-off events, which send a lot of sediment into Lake Michigan from the Sheboygan and Pigeon River.   
More testing and finish work remains to be completed by the final completion date of June 6, 2024, but, after many years in planning and construction, the project is operational and nearing full completion. 

January 2024 Update:

On December 23, 2023, the marine contractor successfully assembled and installed the pipeline inlet structure. This design includes four large bells and emergency inlet. The structure weights 105,000 pounds and was set in place as one assembled piece using skilled crane and diver operations. The depth of water at the inlet structure base along the lakebed is about 52ft. This installation completes the physical pipeline work as it is located at the end of the intake. However, due to winter weather conditions, the contractor must return in Spring to complete backfilling operations and final bedding of the newly installed intake pipeline. 

Read the full update here: January 2024 Update 

September 2023 Update:  

The Raw Water Improvement Project was awarded in May 2022 and construction began shortly thereafter. The project has been steady and has quickly moved into its second year of construction on. Many milestones have been met by state/local government, utility staff, and skilled contractors.  As we move forward into September 2023, we will see construction on ac vi es increase on Lake Michigan and along the shore. On Lake Michigan, the marine contractor is averaging installing 3‐4 pipe sections per day given weather delays and rough waters. Each pipe sec on is 60” in diameter and 40 feet in length. Currently, there are 79 sections of pipe installed on the primary intake line or 3,160 feet. The primary intake line will be 6,500 feet in length upon completed on. The future backup intake line installation on is complete at 440 feet in length. The water depth of the new intake crib structure is estimated to be 48 feet deep below the lake’s surface. Both the primary and future intake pipelines are connected to a shore well concrete structure that was completed earlier in 2023. The new shore well will replace the existing shore well built in 1887.  

Read the full update here: September 2023 Update

The New Intake Pipeline

6.5K Feet

Length of the New Line

60 Inches

Diameter of the New Line

100 Years

Life Expectancy of the New Line


# of Gallons Produced at the Plant Each Day


Max # of Gallons Needed in Summer Each Day


# of Hours Each Day the Water Plant Operates

About the Project

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Project Fact Sheet

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Bond Approval

April 2020

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SWT exterior

Pre Development Meeting

October 2020

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Raw Water Pump Station and Shore Well Building

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Intake Pipe Installation at South Penetration 1

Article About the Project

March 2022

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American Rescue Plan Act Funding

October 2021

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Preliminary Project Schedule

March 2022

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From the Mayor

March 2020

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