How clean is the drinking water in within your county?
What areas have drinking water concerns and what are those concerns?
What will you do to protect drinking water in your county
for the health, safety, and welfare of your constituents?
Google Form for citizens and candidates to submit responses directly to spreadsheet linked here.)
In my own district there has been high levels of radium found the municipality is working on treating the well and levels are
now in compliance. Also there are areas of the county were animal waste could cause issues with private wells.
|I will work with the citizens of the county to protect our water supply.|
Besides being a Supervisor on the Calumet County Board I also am a WAV participant and monitor 2 sites on the Killsnake and
Manitowoc Rivers. Additionally I am a member of the Water Sentinels and volunteer to help with our county's well testing program.
I also testified in support of stricter rules for manure spreading in karst areas. We need to be watchful over our water quality,
especially in this new Foxconn era! Keep up the fight and continue to educate the citizens of Wisconsin.
UW-Extension has actually been doing a study on this and presented it in 2017, this site shows exactly what they found
Private Wells: Not required to be regularly tested; Not required to take corrective action; Owners must take special precautions
to ensure safe drinking water.
Public Water Supplies: Regularly tested and regulated by drinking water standards.
Acute Effects – Usually seen within a short time after exposure to a substance. (ex. Bacteria or viral contamination which
may cause intestinal disease)
Chronic Effects – Results from exposure to a substance over a long period of time. (ex. Arsenic or pesticides can increase
the chance of developing certain types of cancer)
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection – Groundwater Exceedance Survey: “The two most
commonly detected pesticide metabolites in the 2012 Targeted Sampling project were metolachlor ethanesulfonic acid (ESA)
and alachlor ESA, which were detected in over 50 percent of the wells sampled. Metolachlor ESA and alachlor ESA were
also the most common pesticide metabolites in the 2007 statewide survey, with approximately 21.6 percent of the wells
having detectible concentrations.”
Please note all of the above answers came from UW-Extension study.
As an elected official, I plan to continue to follow up on what UW-Extension is doing in assisting those in our community with their w
ater to make sure it is healthy for use. Also, continue to follow what is going on in our county and vote on things that keep citizens
healthy. I will not support things that will come into our community and contaminate our water and lands.
Dane County's drinking water is currently safe to drink. However, I am concerned about the danger of both phosphorus
pollution and chloride pollution. Phosphorus pollution comes from a variety of sources, but dairy cow manure is the most
significant contributor. Chloride pollution comes from road salt and salt used in water softeners.
Protecting Dane County's water resources is one of my top priorities as a county board member. We are doing a variety of things to
keep phosphorus out of our waterways, including dredging phosphorus-laden sediment from streams and using manure digester
technology to separate phosphorus from cow manure. As for chlorides (salt), the board recently passed Resolution 214, which is
a voluntary educational program for reducing winter salt spreading. I plan to continue closely monitoring both the phosphorus
and chloride issues to ensure that our drinking water is safe for everyone.
Hello, my name is Nancy Bogue, and I am running for District 11 (Madison) Dane County Supervisor. Thank you for asking
candidates to check on water issues in
An on-going issue in the county has been manure and fertilizer run-off which contaminates the lakes around Madison. There
are upwards of 40 groups working on this (https://olw-lwrd.countyofdane.com/Watershed-Network/Water-related-Groups). I
think the newly formed Healthy Farms, Healthy Lakes Task Force has real potential to finally help farmers and conservationists
figure out a better way for both to operate together. I have gone to one of their meetings, and the task force is made up of
farmers, county board supervisors and scientists. There is also a CleanLakes Alliance, one of whose tasks is to protect
wetlands, as well as one of most important committees on the Board of Supervisors, the Lakes and Watershed Commission,
both working on these issues.
I did some research and one of the best sites for people in Dane County to check on water issues is
The Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC) Laboratory is certified by state regulators to test drinking water for
bacteria, metals, and other chemicals. It tests water for private well owners and public water utilities, and does so on a regular
basis. They have an easy to read website where you can find more information about contaminants in water, how to get your
water tested and who to contact in the county. In 2005/2006 there were some lead issues in Madison's drinking water, but
they have been addressed. Other than that, there seems to be no current big issues that I could see of in terms of drinking
As a supervisor, I would join one of these groups (if there was an opening). My special interest is how rural and urban residents
canwork better together to solve water and other concerns. I would vote for appropriate funding for water health, and chaired the
first DaneCounty Environmental Council in the 90s, when one of our main tasks was to address the lake/farm run-off problem.
Overall, we live in an exceptional county, where rural and urban residents care actively about clean water. It would be an honor to
serve, working on water and other important issues. Thank you, Nancy Bogue
Water is a critical resource and according to the Madison Water Utility, the average family pays about $19 per month for water.
The Utility also reports that it “adheres to the highest state and federal drinking water standards. We routinely collect more
samples and run more tests than are actually required by the EPA and DNR -- thousands of tests every year.” Annual resting
and water quality reports can be found on line here
Private wells, located in rural parts of the county are generally shallower and more at risk than public wells and should be
tested annually for pesticides, nitrates and bacteria contamination. . A 1994 Wisconsin survey found that 23% of private wells
tested had coliform bacteria contamination and 21% tested above the enforcement standard for nitrate. Three municipal
water systems (Waunakee, Fitchburg and Morrisonville) have invested 13.6 million in treatment for nitrate contamination.
The County also has rules (location and maintenance) that all septic systems must follow.
Our district is a lake district. We have Lake Monona on the southern boundary and theYahara River and Starkweather Creek
both run through the district. One of the reasons I decided to run was last summer we had a horrible blue green algae bloom
in Lake Mendota and through the Yahara River. It was the worst we have seen in 30 years if not ever. Algae produce toxins
that are harmful to pets, fish and people – it’s caused largely by farm runoff.
In addition to nonpoint source pollution of our lakes, neighbors are also concerned about groundwater contamination and the
safety of their drinking water. The district is served by wells x y and z, pumped by the City of Madison from a deep sandstone
aquifer. The Madison Water Utility conducts regular tests for bacteria and chemicals in drinking water wells and as a precaution,
chlorinates drinking water to protect against any possible viruses or bacteria.
The drinking water for the 6th district is served by approximately 5 groundwater wells, most have sodium levels above the
EPA guidelines for drinking water (20 mg/l). Some of the wells in our district also have had detections of trichloroethylene, a
volatile organic chemical, and tetrachloroethylene and cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene, organic chemicals used in manufacturing.
There is particular concern over the safety of drinking water from well 8, located in Olbrich Park, because tetrachloroethylene
was found at Madison Kipp Corporation and in a shallow monitoring well about 600 feet from well 8. A study of the potential
contamination was done and the Madison Water Utility is planning to drill a monitoring well that can serve as a “sentinel” to
alert the City and the county into any future contaminants. The city is evaluating the contamination plume and determining
steps to protect the public’s safety including whether to rebuild the existing well and add filters or drill a new well. Madison
Water Utility reports that tetrachloroethylene can be successfully removed from water
Over salting of our roads, sidewalks and parking lots is also a serious water quality problem that is leading to elevated chloride
and sodium levels in our drinking water. Chloride has also been found in Lake Monona and at levels in Starkweather Creek
above the chronic toxicity criteria for aquatic life. I will work with neighborhood associations on a new educational effort, the
Wisconsin Salt Wise Partnership, that urges municipalities, homeowners and private contractors to use less salt.
I will make clean lakes and safe drinking water a top priority. I’m an agronomist and environmentalist at the UW Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems and work on sustainable farming and food systems. I also serve on the Dane County Lakes and Watershed Commission. I’m running for the board because because I want to put my technical expertise to work serving our community’s
interest in safe and clean water. I plan to share information regularly and organize meetings to keep constituents informed and
involved in water quality related issues and solutions.
The two largest problems we have with drinking water in Dane county are nitrates and salt. Some of the Madison wells are
heavily contaminated with salt. One well had to be shut down for a while and worked on, but many are getting closer to the
unsafe levels. The County has no control over salt use in the city, but do have some control in the rural areas. Many rural
wells have a problem with nitrate. The area I live in is one of the highest concentration levels.
I am on the Lakes & Watershed Commission and the salt workgroup as well as the committee that oversees highways. Our
Highway Department has switched to using a salt brine whenever possible. This lowers salt use considerably. We have also
experimented with other products. The salt workgroup has established classes and a certification program for private applicators.
This teaches that much less salt is adequate for ice removal that what people are used to using. This also gives legal cover in case
someone is sued because they didn't use enough salt to immediately clear the ice. I've also put up postersfrom saltwise and
spoken to groups on lowering the amount of salt needed to clear private sidewalks and driveways.
According to the 2017 data reported by Dane County Public Health, there are three water contaminants creating cause for
concern in Dane County. These include lead, nitrates/pesticides, and sodium/chloride.
While all water systems in Dane County have been found to be below the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’
safety regulation limit, the levels that have been discovered are caused by homes and water systems that were constructed
prior to the Safe Drinking Water Act (1986). Within all 33 water systems tested by the Wisconsin Department of Natural
Resources, the 90th percentile level of lead ranges from 0.77 to 7.44 µg/L. This data indicates that the drinking water in Dane
County continues to be safe for consumption, but should be monitored for fluctuations.
With pesticides/nitrates, the levels have been found to be higher in rural area water wells as compared to more densely
populated municipalities (20% of private samples exceeded recommendations and 5% of municipal samples). This
discrepancy in water quality for private wells and municipal wells can be closely associated to the lack of regulatory testing
requirements for private wells. It is essential that we obtain regular data around this issue, however, some of the barriers to
testing private wells include a lack of public knowledge related to regulatory recommendations and fear of changes in
A gradual increase in sodium/chloride levels in our drinking water is the result of continued use of salt to manage ice and
snow on the roads in the wintertime. Although the current sodium/chloride levels are not a risk to the health of people in Dane
County, persistent use of salt in the winter months will result in changes to water quality in the future.
For more information on all of these subjects, read the Water Quality in Dane County report at
If I am elected by the people of District 24 to serve on the Dane County Board, I would demonstrate a strong commitment to
ensuring that water will be safe for consumption for the people of Dane County. In this effort, I would encourage testing of private
wells and explore options for incentivizing such practices. Further, I am looking forward to examining the results of the Healthy
Farms, Healthy Lakes Task Force. This task force made up of local stakeholders and experts has been charged to establish
improved public understanding of best practices and policies for managing agricultural contaminants. Results are estimated to be
ready for review in late 2018: https://board.countyofdane.com/Healthy-Farms-Healthy-Lakes-Task-Force
According to the "Water Quality in Dane County: Overview, current challenges, and recommendations" completed in July of
2017, the drinking water quality is uneven throughout Dane quality. The factors that can increase the susceptibility to less
clean water are closer proximity to agriculture, shallower wells, and aging infrastructure. Drinking water quality can be
impacted by contaminants introduced directly to the ground water, or by the infrastructure through which it travels.
For this reason, degrading infrastructure, or poor household water structures can be the cause of poor quality of water —
potentially disproportionately impacting people with lower incomes. Influences of contamination can include:
· road salt
· homes built before the late 1970s
· fertilizer, pesticides, and animal waste
· natural sources
The challenges for drinking water quality differ depending on location. Private wells are more vulnerable because they are
shallower, are often found near agriculture resulting in higher nitrate levels, than municipal sources. Additionally, inadequate
testing, especially following flood events can raise the risk for individuals who derive the majority of their drinking water from a
well. All service lines in the city of Madison have been updated, but this is not the case for all of Dane County, reinforcing the
disparities across the county. Municipal wells are impacted by the increase in chloride and sodium as a result of road salt use,
according to the "2017 Road Salt Report" prepared by Public Health Madison & Dane County.
The typical state and federal agencies that regulate safe drinking water do not have oversight on private wells. They do, however,
have the ability to impact water supply based on legislation like building regulation. As an elected official at the county level, I would
support the following measures, to name a few:
Support efforts to significantly decrease consumption of ground water for industrial and personal use. These efforts may be through
incentive programs to more efficient water fixtures (e.g., toilet replacement program in Madison), education to decrease use,
increased use of greywater, and new ways to apply and expand the county’s SMART Fund (Sustainable Management and
Renewable Technologies) program to support more projects that incorporate developments that do not disrupt the hydrologic cycle
(e.g., green roofs, porous paving). Encourage state lawmakers to reinstate protections that have been loosened or rolled back
with regard to sensitive water areas, like urban wetlands. In the meantime, seek out partnerships with organizations who can
protect vulnerable natural areas. Support education on the importance and processes of water testing for well water, regularly,
including after flood events, and that dispel myths, and continue support of The Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC)
Laboratory. Educational resources should be made available in multiple languages, and in a variety of formats. Support efforts to
decrease salt use on roadways. Continue to collaborate with agricultural practitioners to create best practices. Always be on the
lookout for people, or infrastructure that may be the most vulnerable to water quality concerns.
I was out of the country with very spotty wifi for about three weeks so I did not have the opportunity to research contaminants
in wells and the local areas that have problems and could not respond to the questions. I am working catch up on emails.
I believe strongly that everyone should have access to clean, non contaminated water. I also believe strongly that companies and
factory farms should not be allowed to draw water from wells without permits and assessment of the impact on the water table and
environment. If possible, I would like to meet with you and/or the Citizens' Water Coalition to learn more about the issue.
We live on the northern border of Kewaunee county. Southern Door county has seen its share of contamination issues, and
the issues in kewaunee county are migrating north at a rapid rate due to agricultural waste mis-management. I am currently
an intern with the Clean water action council of NE WI, and an environmental/sustainability consultant. I have closely
monitored the progression with the DNR permits in Kewaunee and Door county re: manure spreading in Karst regions. I have
gone to Madison to provide testimony before the Natural Resources Board in support of NR 151.
I am currently running for Door County Supervisory board, district 3 (forestville/carnot/clay banks) which is at the southern end of
the county, bordering Kewaunee county. I believe it is imparitive for someone with a vested interest in not only farming (I grew up
on a farm in the southern door area), but also water quality is in a position to help make decisions regarding this vulnerable area.
I have studied abroad with biologists and world leaders in composting, and have worked over the last year to help implement
composting as a form of agricultural waste management, nutrient recycling and to provide a safe solution to protect our
groundwater and the Great Lakes.
I AM PROUD TO SAY LAND CONSERVATION AND HEALTH DEPARTMENTS OF DOUGLAS COUNTY ARE AT THIS
MOMENT AWAITING TEST RESULTS FROM NEARLY 100 PRIVATE WELLS ...AIDED BY GRANT FUNDS. WE ARE
ESPECIALLY CONCERNED ABOUT FARM FIELD RUNOFF IN OUR NORTHERN CLAY AREA WELLS AND THE
SUSCEPTIBILITY OF OUR SOUTHERN SAND COUNTRY WELLS.
CONTINUE TO ENCOURAGE PRIVATE WELL-TESTING AND SEEKING GRANT FUNDS TO ENCOURAGE PRIVATE WELL
OWNERS TO DO TESTING AND DECOMMISSION UNUSED WELLS. ALSO STRENGTHEN CONTROLS ON CAFO SITINGS
IN OUR COUNTY.
We are very concerned about water quality in Douglas County. We recently lobbied, in Madison, requesting the Legislature
provide Northwest Wisconsin counties bordering Lake Superior with Regulatory authority to protect our water resources
Many people have private wells drawing directly from the aquifer. Drinking water must be contamination free.!
We are well aware of how all types of development impact water resources.
We have a very strict permitting process for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. There are none in existence currently,
in our County.
Shoreline zoning has taken significant hits from the Legislature over the past several years. We have attempted to plead our
case with them, however, with little avail.
Our County Land Conservation Dept. recently received a large grant for water testing. The soils near Lake Superior are primarily
clay, and most vulnerable, while the southern end of the County are sand. Five hundred letters were sent randomly throughout the
county ,seeking test participants. Tests were offered at the reduced price of $20.00. The grant covered the remaining $80.00. 100
tests were administered February 6, 2018. Results will be available the end of March. The Department also offers assistance to
those needing to abandon wells, attempting to prevent additional pollution from entering the aquifer. We work with area farmers
regarding use of fertilizers, insecticides, manure storage, and run-off.
I hope this answers your questions sufficiently and my being a day late isn't a problem. Water is our most important resource and
we must preserve it.
I don’t know of a problem but I don’t know for certain how clean the water is in Dunn county.
I think it is just as important that we need to monitor the water table as much as how clean and safe it is. I think the water
table has gone down in Dunn County with all the high capacity irrigation wells that have been installed in the last few years.
I would support Dunn County start monitoring wells, for both water level and safety concerns in every township. Maybe we could
use wells at town halls and train township personal to take samples and the county pay for having the samples analyzed. We need
to have a base line so we can track what is happening with the wells in Dunn County.
I was recently part of a nine-month long study group researching the actual and potential effects of concentrated animal
feeding operations. (I voted for the moratorium on CAFOs and also for its extension, and generally oppose new CAFOs in
the county). Here are the pertinent data revealed in this nine-month study:
The Dunn County Health Department has a program for testing nitrogen/nitrates in private wells, as well as providing technical
assistance to landowners testing their own wells. Nitrate levels in wells are increasing, largely due to agricultural
land-spreading. In 13 of 22 towns (60%) 20% or more of the wells tested show elevated levels of nitrate
contamination – above the 10ppm state and federal standards.
Well contamination and drinking water concerns are particularly acute in areas with sandy, highly permeable soils, where
depth to groundwater is 20 feet or less. These soil types have very low recharge rates meaning that groundwater can more
easily contaminate groundwater. These towns are in the northwest Hay River area, some areas of the Red Cedar Watershed,
and in the SE corner of the county with very sandy soils. For example, in the town of Peru In the town of Peru, 26% of the
wells tested show elevated nitrates. The town of Red Cedar data indicate 24% of wells tested show elevated NO3.
Testing for bacterial and other contaminants is not as robust and indicates no evidence of well contamination with bacteria
due to land spreading of manure or septage.
My constitutents in an urban district are not directly affected by these issues, but all of us are affected by ground and surface
water impairment. As a member of the Planning, Resources and Development committee, my first priority is to remedy the lack of
recent and robust groundwater quality data and an easily accessible database. We are working as I write to institute a more robust
well monitoring program and the development of an easily accessible and robust database.
My second priority is to, as much as possible, reduce or eliminate potential sources of contamination. We will shortly be proposing
a revised manure management ordinance. We are designing education programs to increase participation in Farmland
Preservation Programs, and other conservation initiatives with farmers. Finally, we are looking at the possibility of giving our staff
citation authority as well a Livestock Operations Ordinance to regulate CAFOs. Our authority to do so as a county is handicapped
by state law, however.
Thanks for your work on behalf of clean accessible drinking water.
As a trout fisherman, photographer, and outdoorsman, I identify strongly with those work to preserve and promote an
environment that sustains life and promotes its flourishing. And I have a general concern that large industry and
concentrated agricultural operations, especially when owned by individuals or entities located elsewhere, often pose a
serious risk to clean water and a nourishing environment. So I give the benefit of the doubt to those who work to preserve
the environment and prefer smaller scale farming and industrial operations that are less likely to have troubling environmental
That said, my work as supervisor is with the judiciary and law committee, and my district is within the city of Menomonie, so I
have not had occasion to research the quality and safety of Dunn County rural wells and won't pretend I know more about them
than I do.
According to Water Watch Wisconsin, the wells in Eau Claire County are primarily threatened by nitrate and bacteria levels.
We do not seem to have the same problems with other pollutants as other areas of the state (arsenic, molybdenum, arsenic,
atrazine). Private wells in Eau Claire County primarily (11 areas) have nitrate levels in the 2.1 to 5.00 mg/l range. Two areas
reportlower levels in the 0 to 2.00 range, and 5 very rural areas have wells testing in the 5.00 to 10.00 range, which is still
within the maximum amount allowed by current health standards. The major concerns are for parts of the county where
bedrock is at or near the surface. A new Confined Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO), located in Rock Creek Township of
Dunn County, has a manure management plan with fields that are in Eau Claire County and are not recommended for
manure spreading due to the karst topography. Another concern is the potential impact on drinking water from high capacity
wells and from sand mining operations.
I would work with others to draft ordinances protecting groundwater and regulating the development of CAFOs and mining
operations. I would also work to protect and preserve water resources such as undeveloped or lightly developed shorelands, water
quality and quantity, and wetlands. I would work with others to expand recreational opportunities and to connect public and
private conservation lands to create corridors of water and land that are conserved for future generations. Land and water resources
must be accessible to the public but protected by buffers and catchment ponds from the runoff contaminants associated with
growth. Finally, Eau Claire County has many unique and high quality natural areas, and I would work to preserve them.
|Eau Claire||Robin |
|Incumbent||Did not answer but supplied response below:|
Thank you for your communication.
|Did not answer|
There are some concerns about nitrates in well water in some areas of the county. The soil is sandy and doesn't do a great
job of filtering nitrates. The county appears to be diligent about testing drinking wells. They tested our well in the town of
Seymour last summer. We did have some nitrates, but below the federal level for health concerns. We were 3.4 ppm of
nitrates and the health standard is 10 ppm.
The town of Union and town of Brunswick have had the greatest issues so far, according to the county. People who have
nitrates above health standards can install a reverse osmosis system or drill a deeper well, which is more expensive.
Solutions include going easy on the lawn fertilizer or, better yet, not using any. The only thing that gets fertilized at our
house are a few tomato plants in the back yard. The front yard is mostly prairie. Maintaining the septic system is important
for rural residents, and, of course, good conservation farming.
What can we do as county supervisors? try to see that water quality laws are upheld. Develop a CAFO ordinance for the county.
greetings, friends. thank you for reaching out and understanding how local policies impact our communities. i believe
eau claire county has clean drinking water. i believe competent city employees monitor water use. however, i know CAFO's
that have the potential to damage water quality are not so far away. there have been residential developers which , as a
county board, we have had to decline because of soil type and distance and depth of wells.
i will make clean drinking water in eau claire a top priority with my votes. i will continue to stay connected with the LCV and local
chapter of sierra club and other watch groups to help me understand how i should vote to keep clean drinking water in our county.
I have much to learn about this topic and it is of great interest to me as a candidate and will be as an elected official. I know
there is a lot of research happening and I am trying to follow it, learning the technical aspects and terminology. These are
some of the facts I have found:
Sources: http://www.ci.eau-claire.wi.us/home/showdocument?id=18244 WITHIN CITY OF EAU CLAIRE--no contaminant
measured exceeded the maximum contaminant level or the level requiring action IN EAU CLAIRE COUNTY: Average
concentrations in Public water: Arsenic 0.4 mu/L (statewide 1.5) Nitrate 2.3 mg/L (statewide 1.3) Average Concentrations in
Private wells: Arsenic .4-4.9 mu/L, Nitrate 2.1-5.0 mg/L
Cited from the Nitrate Source Investigation Project of the Eau Claire City-County Health Department meeting minutes,
Dec. 5, 2017: Over the past year and a half, UWEC students have gathered samples from private wells in 6 EC County
townships resulting in 97 samples. Contamination found: 16 sites were positive for agricultural contaminants (nitrates
predominantly) 6 positive for human waste water, and 3 sites positive for both. The levels found were not described in the
report cited. This project is extending into the spring 2018 and the remaining townships will be tested.
I will commit to learning more and as much as I can about this very important issue. It has an impact on every person in our county.
With more knowledge I will be able to understand and analyze proposals that come before the County Board,and respond to
questions and concerns of citizens. I would seek involvement in groups and committees that address these issues both within
County government and private groups such as Citizen Action of Wisconsin. I will support efforts such as described above being
implemented by the City-County Health Department so that accurate, timely information is made available to the public so that
informed decisions are possible.
Did not answer this given question but supplied response below.
I highly recommend for households to obtain a water filtration system and use it
exclusively for drinking water. It is very challenging for small municipalities with
many pressures for small amounts of tax dollars to maintain extremely high
levels of safe water...they're doing their best. A personal water filtration system
in the household can be the best purchase a family can make as it directly
|I would support reasonable legislation that might seek to alleviate at least some of this problem.|
here are well-founded concerns all over WI for the safety of our water whether it is used for personal consumption, growing
food or recreational activities. If I understand your question, it appears to be focused on drinking water and the most common
concern for our drinking water, as I understand it, is lead from the use of lead plumbing because of its greatest impact on the
brain development of young children. While I am not aware of widespread concerns for lead poisoning here in Jefferson
County (Watertown being the exception), I believe there are serious concerns in Milwaukee County. I am also aware that the
level of nitrates is higher than normal/desired throughout most of the state.
I live in a neighborhood along the Rock River where private wells are the source of drinking water. Taking care of my well is a
priority for me and I get it tested regularly. As a Master Gardener and a Master Naturalist Volunteer, I avoid the use of
pesticides and chemicals on my lawn as much as possible. This means that I have painted glyphosate on tree stumps where
we have cut down old trees but do not use it to control weeds in our lawn. We are redoing the shoreline of our property and
are using native plants along a naturally designed slope with a frog pond after removing old railroad timbers to the landfill
that a previous owner had installed.
I am a member of and contributor to the Clean Lakes Alliance, the WI League of Conservation Voters, the national League
of Conservation Voters, the Ice Age Trail Alliance, the Environmental Working Group and the Sierra Club. I have been a
stream monitor in the past through the Rock River Coalition and would like to do it again. I am a regular volunteer for the
UW Arboretum's Saturday morning restoration work parties.
I have protested the approval of a CAFO chicken farm in Jefferson County and believe that protecting smaller, organic, family
farms will serve the needs of our land and communities better. If a farm has to be larger, I believe that agricultural practices
such as those promoted by the Dodge County Healthy Soil/Healthy Water, Yahara Pride Farms/Clean Lakes Alliance, Michael
Fields Institute and Discovery Farms should be used.
I attended the hearing on the repeal of the mining moratorium and registered against the repeal in the State Assembly and
regularly write to my state and federal legislators to support legislation that protects our environment. I am sickened by the
newly allowed destruction of our wetlands and our ecological systems, and the carelessness shown by the legislators and
agricultural businesses who secured the unfettered use of high capacity wells without regard to the water levels of the lakes
and surrounding water tables.
First, I will continue to learn more about water and environmental issues and will support education programs to alert other people
to alternatives in which they can participate to improve the health of our environment and protect our land, air and water. Second,
I am opposed to the state's aggressive approach to usurping the power of local units of government to protect their ecological
resources. I am also opposed to their granting eminent domain to private corporations such as FoxConn. Third, I will seek out
groups like yours to see how I can be helpful even if I don't win. I was not aware of your existence prior to receiving this e-mail but
I look forward to learning more about you in the future.
Thank you for everything you do. I hope that I have answered your questions satisfactorily but would welcome any further questions
and/or suggestions you may have.
First, I appreciate your efforts to understand and correct the groundwater and drinking water problems that Wisconsin is
facing. Interestingly, as a twenty-eight year resident of the Jefferson County township of Koshkonong, and as a town
supervisor, I have no detailed knowledge of water contamination concerns in the county. If, as you state, that 47% of wells
have some level of contamination, and yet this has not been a frequent issue of discussion, then something seems amiss.
Perhaps people are not aware of their own well water problems, or maybe they dare not talk in order to preserve their
As a candidate for Jefferson County Board, district 30, I suggest these steps:
Improved citizen education about water quality issues
comprehensive county well water data collection
a spreadsheet of well testing results and a map showing this data
The next question for me is, does this set of problems fall in the lap of federal, state or local government?
I believe the counties will have a significant role to play because nearly every county department exists to do some job mandated by a higher level of government.
Your email and questions have now prompted me to learn more about Jefferson County water concerns, and for that I thank you.
Research taken from several different studies on water quality suggest Kenosha County should be concerned about water
quality. On a personal level, as a private well homeowner, I have experienced an ongoing issue with sediment seeping into my
water that depending on the weather can make the water run gray. I have replaced my well entirely and had it repaired
several times, but the problem, while not as bad as it was originally, persists. If this is happening to me, I imagine there are
There are an estimated 6,000 homes with lead pipes in Wisconsin's municipal water systems and over 15,000 homes located
in rural areas using private wells that may be at risk for exposure to toxic lead levels. In Kenosha County, homes built prior 1
960 are most likely to be of concern as lead pipes may be used for water mains. Lead is harmful to community residents'
Furthermore, much of Western Kenosha County is surrounded by primarily rural areas; many residents - myself included -
are on private wells. Because of a legal loophole, private residents who have exceedingly high nitrate levels, which could be
lethal to infants, cannot qualify for financial aid to replace their wells unless they are used for livestock watering. As several
subdivisions have cropped up in the last few decades in Western Kenosha County, clearly, we should be looking into the
nitrate threat to residents.
In 2014 the Groundwater Coordinating Council reported to the state legislature that one-third of the private wells they
assessed (approximately 440) in the state tested positive for unhealthy levels of pesticides. While it appears that the
Salem/Paddock Lake area wells in the study did not test positive, we cannot assume the area wells are 100% pesticide free.
A 2013 Department of Health study determined that 2.4% of homes on private wells showed concerning levels of arsenic.
None of these, however, were detected in Salem or Paddock Lake (District 20). However, of the 3,868 well tested in the
state, 18% had indicators of E-Coli or other viruses. An increase in manure spreading in the area could result in an increase
in risk for E-coli and other viruses.
It has also been noted that Wisconsin's private wells contain some the of highest levels of strontium (a heavy metal that can
cause bone deformities and rickets in children), and UW Green Bay researchers discovered unsafe levels in 73 out 114
samples tested in Brown, Calumet, and Outagamie counties. Geology in these areas has been linked to high amounts of
strontium, but similar research seems absent for the southeastern portion of the state. Our topography may not warrant this,
but we should investigate to be certain.
As of June 2017, 24 communities continue to test positive for levels of radium. The deeper wells are dug, the higher the risk
for radium indicating another potential water problem for our county.
In 2014 an environmental organization called Clean Wisconsin discovered that 200 of 1000 wells they tested in Southeastern
Wisconsin, there were unsafe levels of molybdenum. This a metal that occurs naturally and can lead to gastrointestinal, liver
and kidney ailments. Clean Wisconsin found that the closer a well was to a site with recycled ash from power plants, the
higher the risk for such contaminants.
The bottom line is that Kenosha County needs to keep an eye on nitrate levels, lead, molybdenum, e-Coli, and other viruses.
As an elected official, I will push for the following:
*Applying for state and federal grants and researching programs that would fund the replacement of old water mains for area
residents can begin to quell any issue reading lead levels
*Monitoring nitrate levels and ensuring testing for compliance by area farms to help lessen the threat of high nitrate levels
*Monitoring molybdenum and pressing the state DNR to determine safe levels for our area to help determine a course of action
to address this concern
*Testing for all area wells for any of these threats through state/federal subsidies or grants
*Developing a flooding abatement task force to address the constant threat of contaminants from flooding as with global
warming the issue of flooding will continue to be of great concern
Our current national administration looks to improve infrastructure on a federal and local level with improvements to roads, bridges,
and railways. However, we must not lose sight of the importance of drinking water infrastructure for Kenosha County. It is a bitter
irony to live because we are beyond the lines to access Lake Michigan water we must be ever more vigilant in improving and
maintaining the quality of our area.district water.
As a County Board Supervisor and concerned citizen I have been very much aware of the problems with our drinking water.
In 2016 I brought forth a resolution for the State Legislators to address the problem with lead in our drinking water and
removing lead pipes through out the state. I have attached my resolution as well as a newspaper article. with Ed St. Peters
the head of the water utility department in the City of Kenosha and myself. I hope this is what you are looking for and helps
|Incumbent||There are problems with water in all venues,be it city or rural.||Work with all concerned citizens and coalitions to come up with answers, not only presenting problems.|
Overall the drinking water is fairly clean. There are some concerns about old lead service lines in the city and we sometimes
see manure issues and have to work on nutrient management plans in those cases. I think in general you will find concerns
with agricultural runoff in the more rural areas. Private well owners in more remote places also need to exercise caution.
New this year, or in upcoming years, the county will have to consider resolutions regarding potential sulfide mining in
Marathon County. Not only could sulfide mining affect surface and groundwater – we’ve also seen changes to the state
laws that mention boring below even the Precambrian crust. That could affect a whole lot of water so we want to make sure
we’re making the right decisions when it comes to mining zoning and regulations in the county.
First off, Marathon County offers very affordable testing for private well owners. The county subsidizes the service and has a water
lab. Even though it’s not required by any statutes, we support this because it’s important to our residents. Second, I want to make
sure we’re considering the serious ramifications of mining in the county and how it can affect our surface and ground water. Third, enforcing agriculture runoff issues and nutrient management plans in the purview of the county. Making sure we continue to fund
those programs so we can be responsive is key. Finally, along with my city council cohort, we have hosted six constituent
meetings. For one of them, we invited a subject matter expert to specifically address surface water issues in the city and county.
Keeping everyone informed will help them and us support the right policies.
The water issues that I' am concerned about are the lead water lines serving many of the homes in Wausau, the recent 3.7
million gallon sewage spill that went into Lake Wausau and the farm land run off that is causing problems in our rivers. I hope
your group will help bring solutions to the table.
As a candidate for Marquette County Board and someone who is concerned about safe water resources for the public, I will
use the best information available to make decisions that may come up if I am voted into office this April. In 2006, 91% of the
tested wells in Marquette County met the public health drinking water limits for nitrate nitrogen. Marquette County has an
ordinance for managing animal waste. Over $5 million dollars has been spent on cleaning up petroleum from underground
Marquette County has addressed concerns as they arise and if I am elected, I will work to keep drinking water safe in Marquette
County. Marquette County is in the Lake Winnebago Land and Water Association and the County’s Land and Water
Conservationist is active throughout the county helping people improve farm land and lake shore run off. I’d support this
Thank you for the opportunity to answer a couple of water related questions. First, groundwater supplies nearly all of the
water for domestic, commercial, and industrial uses in Marquette County. Marquette County is primarily rural and
groundwater is the main source of drinking water through private wells. Private wells have been tested and monitored
throughout the county and the majority of wells sampled were within the normal range for drinking water. Some of the more
common contaminants found were bacteria and nitrates. Manure, fertilizer, and faulty septic systems are some of the main
sources of nitrates. Since land use affects nitrate levels, it is important for the county to protect groundwater quality and
quantity. The highest areas susceptible for contamination exists in areas with sandy soils, which make up a large portion of
Some ways that I believe drinking water can be protected include: proper placement and maintenance of septic systems,
education regarding water conservation, sound land use practices, proper monitoring for contaminants, state and federal
regulations to protect the quality and quantity of drinking water, public input regarding special use permits and high capacity wells.
The water in Marquette County is safe. The municipal water is checked each month and sent to a lab for analysis, private
wells are the responsibility of the well owner and should be checked by the owner.
|I support the state enforced water testing regulations.|
Despite the bad press that it has received, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Sewerage District does a remarkable job in providing
clean drinking water to virtually all of Milwaukee County (South Milwaukee has their own water utility). The challenges facing
MMSD and their end users is the result of ancient water pipes in the City of Milwaukee.
The lead problem that is facing the City of Milwaukee is a great concern that has been exacerbated by an ill-concieved lead
abatement plan. A plan so horribly executed that the US Department Housing and Urban Development ordered a halt to the
spending of grant money until changes are made to the program.
As an elected official of Milwaukee County, I feel that the best way I can best protect the quality and safety of water in the county is
by trimming the bureaucracy that inflates budgets and reduces efficiency. Reducing the overall cost while maintaining the high
quality service that my constituents expect is the driving force of my entire campaign. Additionally, good communication between the
public and their elected officials is not only critical, but lacking quite often. On two separate occasions (September 2016 and July
2017), a simple dye test that was looking for critical leaks led to news outlets having to quell public panic by reporting after the fact
that the dye is harmless. A panic that could have been largely avoided by proper communication in the days leading up to the test.
Overall lack of communication is an area I will work hard to change if I am elected.
Surrounding counties as well as throughout the state have concerns with unsafe chemicals, debris and harmful minerals from
mining and fracking in the water systems and wells. As you may be aware, Milwaukee water is of great concerns to citizens.
It has been indicated that our water is worst than Flint, MI. The amount of lead in our water and the damages it may inflict
upon our children is unacceptable. Of course, this is of great concern to me. To the best of my knowledge we do not have
well water within Milwaukee proper, but that is not important, all water should be clean.
If elected I will work with the county board of supervisors and the county executive to develop preventative measures as well as
work with committees and allies to address current issues and concerns to implement and/or improve current initiatives to not only
meet but water surpass safety standards.
We must continue to fight to keep EPA standards in place as well as strengthen standards. Continuance of educating ourselves
and the community at large about water safety is important which is why we invited FLAC to speak to a group of residents last
March. I will work to keep water safe and clean for all residents.
If Milwaukee County had unincorporated areas, perhaps the county would be more involved in assuring water quality.
However, we are fully incorporated. Across our 19 municipalities, most residents rely on public water sources provided from
municipal sources. The City of Milwaukee, with a population of 600,000+ people, has the most concerning drinking water.
Although the water itself is of relatively high quality and the Milwaukee Water Works has been nationally recognized for its
work, lead pipes deliver the water tainted to many Milwaukee homes.
The City of Milwaukee provides free drinking water filters for homes affected by lead service lines, but only if the home has a
child under the age of 6 or a pregnant or breastfeeding mother, or someone who may become pregnant. This seems illogical.
Do not all people need clean drinking water? Is ingesting too much lead not hazardous to all people? While some people may
be at higher risk for lead poisoning, all people need clean drinking water. However, I note that while my support as a citizen
is for finding solutions to this problem, my powers as a county elected official do not permit policymaking on behalf of the city,
its Common Council, or its Mayor.
Some homes do have well water. I am familiar with the DNR recommendations that private wells be tested at least once per
year for chloroform bacteria, nitrates, and arsenic. My district is also host to a large community shared well and I attend and
observe the quarterly water association meetings as able.
There seems to be no way for an individual to test the safety of their drinking water, whether on municipal water or private well, at
no additional personal cost, particularly if there is no reasonable way for the family to afford such a water test. One way Milwaukee
County may be able to become of use in the provision of safe drinking water is to help facilitate a county-wide collaboration for a
free or discounted bulk solution for water testing. I would be interested in exploring how such an option could be provided at low
to no cost to the resident.
|Ozaukee|| Bruce |
Thanks for your efforts to make clean water an important issue for the citizens of Ozaukee County and their elected officials.
Your coalition efforts mirror those that I’ve been undertaking for many years now. While your efforts highlight a result (i.e.,
clean drinking waters), my efforts have been focused on a means (wetlands protections). I hope you’ll agree that I can safely
be counted in the ranks of "Water Warrior”.
I’m glad to say that Water Quality is generally positive in Ozaukee county, with bacteria (coliform) in private wells being the
most serious problem we see today. Regular testing in such areas (with contamination paths identified and correct) will help
with this problem. But that is just a part of the total picture—the trend for other water quality threats is less obvious and needs
monitoring, especially at the rate of development the area is seeing. The river system water quality, while improving,
continues to see below acceptable grades by water monitors.
Nearly everyone appreciates the survival need for clean water, but I also enjoy a visceral connection to the outdoor activities to
which clean water is critical. This has informed and motivated my personal journey. As a Coast Guard officer who sailed the
“seven seas” for 28 years, my professional life was bound to the water, and I saw many places where inadequate respect for
this natural resource resulted in community impairment.
As I retired to Ozaukee County 14 years ago, water (and its quality) have continued to shape my choices. I settled on the
banks of the Milwaukee River; I’m a duck hunter; a member of Milwaukee Riverkeepers, Trout Unlimited, Wisconsin Wetlands
Association; I’m on the leadership team of the Friends of the Cedarburg Bog working to protect and learn from this
remarkable County resource.
I’m also a co-chair of Wisconsin's Ducks Unlimited policy team, working to ensure state (and federal) legislation protects
wetlands and the important functions they serve in our communities (including water filtration so important to its quality).
Only a week ago, I gave a press conference with other sportsmen groups to speak against pending wetland legislation
that would inappropriately tilt the balance to unrestricted development for tens of thousands of wetland acres. For my efforts
specifically in support of wetlands, Ducks Unlimited just named me as Wisconsin’s DU Conservationist of the Year.
I am a challenger. But regardless of the election outcome, you can be sure that I will continue to play a public role in the
search for sustainable balance between our imperative for clean water, and other needs of our communities.
We do have districts with high nitrate concentrations, which is a major concern for our county. We are currently in the process
of putting together a manure storage ordinance to try to mitigate the problem.
I do not believe this is the sole cause and believe further research is necessary; however it appears to be a significant source and needs to be addressed. Any research and findings from your coalition would be welcomed.
My farm has participated in groundwater resource since the 1970s, to include nitrates, aldicarb, as well as other farm sector
chemistries. Currently we have a dozen sample wells divided p between UW-Madison, UW-SP and USGS (this study of some
Currently I am involved in a research project involving nonpoint impact on streams, the draft of that project available through
UW-M, 2015 Water Resources Management Practicum Report, Nelson Institute, 40 Science Hall, 950 North Park St, Madison
WI. The ultimate gain of that was that habitat structures did not impact drainage efficiency but did improve water flow,
bio-communities, water quality, trout numbers. A like pattern of practice we would like to further engage on Central Wisconsin
Farm sector water tests locally range 20ppm - 40 ppm, some higher. The irony is that in the realm of Roscommon and
Markey soils, the stream levels of NO3 run 4-14 ppm remarkably lower than the surrounding farm fields. Why has yet to be
discerned. Initial thought is the water flow through the highly organic soil bio-processes the NO3 to a significantly lower value.
The research project has a long term goal of developing an array of field practices that might reduce the proportion of NO3
leaching from the field to groundwater. According to the standard practice we are losing 25-50% of the applied NO3, an
amount that is variable to rain events, irrigation, plant vigor, timing, type of product. The downside is plant stove is a significant
source, especially in the "shoulder seasons." Can this be reduced? My persona bias is full-scale as to say continental
reduction of NO3 in groundwater is for a Farm Bill to do. To offer the Corn Belt and other regions an enhanced base price for
#2 yellow, 50 cents to $1 above market, in trade for 50 units of applied N. The gimmick being a yield reduction should trigger a
market bump perhaps equal to that 50cent-$1 support price, to the end Uncle doesn't owe the farmer anything. The standard
corn NO3 rate is 200 units, reducing that to 150 might improve N loss. In theory a 150 bu/acre corn yield can be achieved by
70-90 units. That might put #2 yellow in the range of $5, $6, even $7
Alternatively, farms could be asked to retire corn acreage and focus their practice on safe fields, reduce run-off chance. Use
current N practice but eliminate vulnerable acres, near water courses, hilly, sharply sloped lands. Decreasing the N risk with a
better market value.
The age of computer algorithms makes it possible to micro-manage field inputs to a degree of both accuracy and surveillance
not previously available. The irony of N management across the farm sector is the possibility of interrupting the decline in
family farm numbers. At $7/bushel the family farm can thrive, besides to reduce inputs.
As for the Water Issues in Central Wisconsin, I have a known presence in my community as well as my farm sector. To some
degree I have be ostracized for my water conscience, for speaking out of turn to my farm sector's reluctance to embrace cumulative
impact. To some real degree my running for office is the result of this decided slowness of my farm sector to accept the obvious. In
the case of the County Board, to bring that water conscience to bear on practice, policy and expectation. In the long run that
adjusted set of practices will improve agriculture, maybe even improve the bottom-line and to my thinking, enhance our marketability.
I am a farmer, 1200 acres, irrigated potatoes, peas, beans, corn, sweet corn, to add maple syrup and that my grandchildren have
an annual honey stand.
In Portage County the average nitrate readings measure 24-25 which is above the aceptable standard 10ppm. Specifically in
my area, New Hope/Amherst, the same problem is observed wells, high nitrate levels. We know the problems: (a) nitrates
occurring naturally, from manure and fertilizer; (b) e-coli from manure or septic, (c) Pesticides/herbicides/prescriptions and
over the counter medications.
As a citizen I created the Neighbor to Neighbor program as well as worked closely with the Groundwater Task Force which currently
has an ordinance being created. I plan to continue to lead local efforts around water and other important issues.
|Incumbant||There is great concern as our drinking and water in general is deteriorating. Many areas in Rock County.|
Support all efforts to improve quality, research any issues that I can affect, and resist all lowering of standards and happenings
that are contrary to improvement.
The Nitrate levels in Rock County’s well water have become a growing concern. Prior to 2013, it was typical that 25-30% of
wells tested had an unsafe nitrate levels. When Rock County tested them again in 2015, that number went to 50%. Now in
2018 as these levels continue to rise, addressing the problem has become a priority health issue.
Areas within the County with the heaviest agricultural production contain wells with the highest nitrate levels, caused by
fertilizer and manure application and runoff. However all of Rock County residents are impacted. If nitrate levels continue to
rise, we will quickly move from just unsafe water, to contaminated water. And for infants and pregnant women,
10 parts-per-million is already too high, and so we have a portion of our population vulnerable to illness and other issues
caused by nitrate poisoning.
As an elected official I would work tirelessly to help protect Rock County's drinking water. I would work with other leaders within
the community to:
a) Provide annual water testing to more residents at little or no charge.
b) Educate landowners about and promote phytoremedian methods.
c) Provide a means to install water filtration or treatment systems in every home.
d) Work with farmers to find alternatives to manure spreading and fertilizers that contain nitrates which in-turn build up in the soil
e) Oppose the privatization of our water service
My district is two wards in Janesville. Two of the pollutants In Janesville and Rock County are nitrates and lead. All residents
of Rock County are affected by rising nitrate levels with rural areas of the county presenting a higher risk. Private water
supplies were more then double the state average and private wells were higher then state averages, more then 30 percent
of the wells tested exceeded the health level for nitrates.
Rock County had problems with lead levels in the City of Edgerton, Blackhawk Technical College,and Regal Beloit in Clinton.
There are a lot of older homes built pre 86 in Rock County with lead pipes. There are also several super fund sites in Rock
County and contaminated soil under the Rock River from General Motors.
I was on the Janesville City Council for 16 years and In Janesville in 92, 94, and 05 deep well pumping stations were built to
address nitrates. The pumping stations contained a deep well and a mixing reservoir to blend higher nitrate water with the deep
well water to lower the nitrate level.
When I was on the County Board we did the preliminary work to develop a Nitrate Work group that was officially formed in 2016.
This group will analyze existing groundwater nitrate data, evaluate known best management practices to reduce nitrate leaching,
and provide practical recommendations on short term and long term methods to improve groundwater nitrate quality. The group is
a 12 person group appointed by the County Board and has diverse representation with a strong Ag community presence.
Janesville got a $500,000 grant to work on lead issues in Janesville. I would work to support the efforts of the work group and
to help implement their recommendations. I have a good working relationship with my legislators in Madison and would work
on ground water issues in Madison.
I believe your figure of 47% is true for the Rock County Area as well. I am not aware of any current activity on the part of the
Rock County Board concerning water regulations. Clean water is the most important element of our survival even above food.
|I will be vigilante about any action that is taken concerning water quality in Rock County.|
Like most areas of the country, we have drinking water problems here as well. Some 30% or more of our wells in St. Croix
County are contaminated now with some form of problem, from phosphorous, nitrates, or biological contaminants. We have
been very active here having just completed a Water Study Group which produced a very thorough look at groundwater,
runoff, lake waters, etc. as well as sources of contamination. We've also been active in making sure the State knows how
strongly we feel about clean drinking water. The exact data on the specific locations of contaminated wells in our County can
be found at the Community Development Department (Ellen Denzer, Director).
There's no greater issue in our times than clean and sustainable drinking water. I will continue to do all that I can possibly do, in
whatever way I can to keep a focus on this issue. This is a process that will never stop. We will need a continuing effort to make
sure we always have access to good Wisconsin water.
I have not researched the details at this time, but it is a major concern of mine. One of my biggest concerns is that Madison
has relieved the local municipalities of the requirement to report on the condition of their local water supply to the public.
Without this data we could on our way to another Flint, Michigan right in our backyard. The biggest concerns that I am aware
of are in the rural areas which are facing the issues of giant cattle farm run off, as well as frac sand mining. Again, I do not
have enough details at this time to in depth, but it is a major concern.
If elected, I will support all efforts by the Health & Human Services committee and the County Board in defending the rights of our
citizens to their right to clean health water. I do not agree with the chairman of Nestle who feels that clean drinking water is a
As a currently serving County Board member and the Chair of the Administrative Committee, I helped set up the St. Croix
County Surface and Groundwater Quality Study Group. We started meeting in January 2017 and continued meeting twice a
month for 9 months. We studied many aspects of the groundwater systems. I have attached a copy of our Study Group's
findings. But to directly answer your question, there is a significant percentage of private wells that are already contaminated
with unsafe amounts of nitrates. We also have sporadic findings of e.coli and other bacteria. Unfortunately, many rural
residents lack the finances to do well testing and some are also afraid to test their wells fearing that the DNR or the county
may force them to spend money they don't have on resolving the problem.
The need to address our groundwater came to a crisis point back in the Fall of 2016, when the Emerald Dairy filed an
application to expand its CAFO up to 8,000 animal units. That same dairy had a huge leak of over a million gallons of manure
in December 2016, which they chose not to report. Due to the lobbying efforts by the Dairyland Association the county is
almost powerless in regulating these CAFOs.
Our county is now prioritizing the best ways to address the findings of the Study Group. Unfortunately, it takes human
resources and cost sharing to engage the farmers to help address this challenge. Early forecasts indicate that it could cost
our county between $600,000 - $1,000,000 per year to address the situation satisfactorily. We know that the GOP controlled
state and federal governments won't do anything to help. But our county is trying. As recently as on February 15, 2018
during the St. Croix County Community Development Committee meeting during its monthly follow up on the Study Group's
findings and recommendations, I suggested that we should consider a public referendum where the residents could vote on
raising the funds necessary to combat this growing problem. We have 87,000 residents. Would you pay $10 per year so that
everyone in St. Croix County would have local access to safe drinking water? Who would so "no" to that?
As referenced above, I helped form and participated in the St. Croix County Surface and Ground Water Quality Study Group from
January 2017 through September 2017. We met twice a month. Each meeting brought in experts for presentations and our county
staff provided tons of support The group was comprised of 3 supervisors including myself, and 6 members of the farming
community. We learned a hell of a lot.
The Study Group presented its findings and recommendations, see attached, to the County Board in September 2017. Since then
the Community Development Committee has had this issue as a standing item on its agenda. I personally, regularly attend the
Community Development Committee to make sure this issue stays on the front burner. At the last meeting, sensing that the
major holdback in implementing the recommendations of the Study Group was the lack of resources, I suggested the possibility
of a referendum to approve special funding if we cannot secure adequate grants in a timely enough fashion.
Protecting our water is the key reason that I am wanting to serve another term on the County Board. I hope your Coalition
appreciates my sincere and ambitious efforts that I have undertaken to date. I have attached to this message a copy of my
personally prepared letter to my constituents that I hand to them as I canvas my district.
|St Croix||John |
This is an extremely broad question. The answer really depends on what specific area of the County (St. Croix in my case)
is being referred to, and what contaminants are being evaluated. Generally speaking the areas of primary concern relate to
phosphorus and nitrates infiltrating groundwater as a result of surface runoff into lakes and streams. Using Nitrates as an
example, and averaging across the entire County, Nitrates fall in the 2.1 - 5 mg/l range, which is considered acceptable by
the WI DNR. However, when smaller, more granular Township or Section areas are considered, there are areas within the
County that are of significant concern. Phosphorus in surface waters is a concern all across the County.
Continuing with Nitrates as the target, areas toward the central and north central portions of the county are of greatest
concern, where nitrate levels are commonly reported in the 5.1 - 10.0 mg/l range, which is outside the acceptable safe limits.
Specific sections with extremely unacceptable nitrate levels reported in wells tend to be east of the Village of Roberts, and
West of the Village of Hammond, spanning to the northeast. Not surprisingly, these are the areas with large farmland
percentages, and a few number of wells.
In 2017, St. Croix County formed a Water Quality Study Workgroup, which examined the specific impacts of CAFO farming on
surface and groundwater. What they discovered was that the problems were much more complicated. The State DNR is
responsible for regulation of land application standards for farming related animal waste, aka Nutrient Management Plans. While
the requirements are in place, enforcement and accountability are not. There is a great deal of room to improve enforcement
cooperation between the State and County levels of government.
Another major area of concern for strategically located St. Croix County that poses a major long term threat to groundwater is
management of municipal wastewater. At present, each small community is an individual silo for managing its waste. Some
communities have access to rivers to discharge wastewater into, but most do not. Communities who do not have a convenient
river to discharge into are forced to use "seepage cells" to soak their wastewater into the ground. Unfortunately, the geology of
much of the County is not conducive to supporting this methodology, and cannot sustain the dissipation of a required volume or
water. This causes higher concentrations of pollutants to be discharged into the local groundwater. Hammond is a prime example.
The true, long term solution to the municipal waste dilemma is to start looking toward creating multi-community sewer and water
treatment infrastructure. The political climate at the Federal and State levels for infrastructure projects is becoming favorable for
the County to start thinking in those terms, planning and seeking plan funding from the State and Federal Levels. The State
Administration considers St. Croix County to be strategically located, and prime to lure businesses into Wisconsin from the less
business friendly climate across the river in Minnesota. A major barrier to that is water infrastructure.
Please let me know if you have additional questions. This is a topic I have a keen interest in. As an aside, I've worked with other
local resident in our local district, primarily Town of Warren, to form a non-profit association advocating for solutions associated
with the Village of Robert's WWTP flooding Twin Lakes with its long term sustained wastewater discharge.
See http://www.twinlakefriends.org for additional information. Much of my research is available there.
I have been out talking to my constituents and always bring up the fact that in St Croix County we have a problem with the
safety of our drinking water and that I support taking action to fix it. Here in our county less than 20% of our wells are
contaminated but we want to still reduce that number.
I have supported acting on the recommendations our St. Croix County Ground and Surface Water Quality Study Group
made. We are currently as a board looking at how we may get the funding available to help keep our drinking water safe.
|St Crox||Scott |
Water issues have been a major issue that I as a supervisor have paid great attention to. I know we have issues with the
water in wells near the Emerald & Forest area on the East side of the County. I was only one of four County Board
Supervisors that voted in favor of the moratorium against the large CAFO's that were in the process of being approved in the
county. I knew that once a very large CAFO was allowed into our county, it would be a battle to keep the Citizens of St. Croix
County's water from being affected. I will always battle CAFO's when it comes to protecting citizens water.
I will continue to support and vote in favor of any resolution, formation of committees or moratoriums that protects citizens in
St. Croix County's drinking water.
Waushara's water table is not as contaminated as many of the surrounding areas, however, contaminates from those areas
are leeching into our County. Groundwater is the source of drinking water throughout Waushara County. Waushara County's
water is supplied by private wells and six (6) municipal water systems. The latest data from the Department of Agriculture,
Trade, and Consumer Protection, indicated that of the 259 wells tested, 83% of the wells met current standards. It also
indicated that 36% of the wells have detectable levels of herbicides. Our "Environmental Health Profile" of the municipal water
systems (Berlin was not included) showed arsenic levels below current standard, but elevated levels of nitrates at 2.1 ppm
where 1.5 ppm is the current standard. There is no record of any public funds being expended for nitrate mitigation by any
of the municipal water systems. Atrazine is banned on over 14,500 acres which are scattered fairly evenly across the County.
Three small areas above current standards for arsenic are located on the eastern side of the County.
Waushara County has sandy soil, which allows a quick flow from surface to groundwater. The "Little Plover River Study
(2017) shows the far reach of chemicals, an other contaminates, and how High Capacity Wells can destroy the natural
groundwater flow along with the quality of water. Commercial farms pump huge quantities of water from the water table.
Almost every campground in Waushara County has a high capacity well, yet the quantities of water they pump have not had
the same adverse effect on the groundwater as that of the Commercial Farm. Waushara's Family Farms, have been good
stewards, and protectors of our land and water resources. The Commercial Farms have been neither. This should not be a
choice between clean drinking water and food. We can have both.
The State of Wisconsin has, and continues to systematically take away any local control on water issues: The ability to form
groundwater management areas that assure equitable protection and distribution of water resources, and a prohibition of any
requirements and regulations assuring safe farm practices at the local level are prohibited.
That being noted, the most important action at the local level, is to encourage and educate the public about the importance of
Annual Well Water Testing. Our residents need to know what is in their water. Annual testing is how changes in drinking water
are tracked, and what mitigation steps are needed to assure a clean source of drinking water.
Did not answer this given question but supplied response below.
I unfortunately do not have an answer around this, however, if you are aware of areas with drinking water concerns, please
share them with the board and myself or direct me to documentation that I can review in regards to this matter.
As a father of 4 children, having friends and families in rural areas with older wells and having lived in older homes almost my whole
life, the concern of clean water is always on my radar. I vividly recall the orange rings that formed around my grandparents
appliances when I was a child. I know that filters do a great job at finding and removing those things that we know about. The
question I have is in regards to those things that we can't see and don't know about. I also question how many people have access
to the filters they need. I know many people on tight budgets, these folks are likely to buy the cheaper filters and use them longer
than they should. It is not fare that we put this on them. Water is a necessity of life. Clean water is a necessity of modern societies.
This is a responsibility of our local governments.
Did not answer this given question but supplied response below.
Thank you for the information! Sorry, but this is my first exposure to the county government and I do not as yet know all the
folks who have information that you have requested.
Did not answer this given question but supplied response below.
If you have a resolution you'd like brought forward, please contact me.
|Incumbent||As far as I know the quality of the water in Oshkosh is in excellent shape.|
As far as what I would do if we had poor quality I would bring forth legislative action to improve and correct the problem . We as
legislators pass laws to improve and maintain quality of the water. It is the job of the administrative branch of government. To
maintain that quality. Thank you and have a delightful day
Robert J. Warnke Winnebago County Board Supervisor District 21
Thank you for contacting me. Clean water is very much a priority for me, and should be for all elected officials in Wisconsin.
As for your questions, the drinking water in private wells in Winnebago County is for the most part pretty good. After asking
my academic friends for advice on where to find this information, they pointed me to the UWSP Watershed Science website.
Winnebago County has relatively few troublesome areas of contamination. We have several townships where excess arsenic
is an issue, and they are forced to drill much deeper wells to access a deeper aquifer. 35% of the wells tested in the county
by UWSP exceeded the health standard, but the Town of Algoma has 48% exceeding the health standard, and in the Town
of Clayton, 40% exceed the health standard. Lead exceeds the health standard in only 6% of the wells tested. I might
assume that this is more of a problem in areas where there is municipal water service and old lead pipes. I am not aware of
any recent testing for this by municipalities. Bacteria exceeds the health standard in 8% of the wells tested. That is not a
surprising number, given the amount of farmland that we have in the county. Nitrate exceeds the health standard in only
4% of the wells tested. This is also fairly low. Other common contaminants are below the 2% threshold for most of the
As an elected official, I will work to pass resolutions that:
· protect our wetlands from degradation
· protect our waterways from excess runoff
· protect our waterways from invasive species
· promote responsible land use and stewardship
Thank you for this email! Protecting the environment has always been a big issue of mine, and I will continue to fight for
protections and laws that protect the environment and all that is encompassed. We can clearly see we are not getting much
help from the federal and state government. We must rely on our local governments to be strong allies and champions of
protecting the environments in their communities. To answer your questions specifically;
1. According to the UWSP's Center for Watershed Science, using their Wisconsin Well Water Quality Viewer we can
conclude a some things about Winnebago County. Roughly 3% of water in the county has levels of Nitrate that exceed
health standards. More concerning is that 34% of water in the county has levels of Arsenic that exceeds health standards.
This is very troubling and concerning, especially when you can see that there are only 2 other counties who fall is the "red"
category. Also we see that 37% are very close to the dangerous threshold. There could be a few reasons for this, but one
big one could be due to excessive nutrients in our lakes and streams due to runoff from agricultural lands. The main areas
of concern here are in the City of Oshkosh, and north close to Larsen. Lead in our water is not as large as a problem in the
past. There are many older homes in the City of Oshkosh that have lead laterals, but Oshkosh is starting a sampling program
to assess the extent of the issue.
As an elected official I will continue to fight for safer and cleaner water in a number of ways. First, I will work to make sure that
building/land projects and zoning changes come with environmental impacts if there are any of concern. Always questioning our
departments and county executives on methods of being more sustainable and eco-friendly, and working with colleagues to make
sure we pass resolutions that protect our bodies of water and streams like lake Winnebago. On the other side, I will advocate and
being vocal against legislation in the state legislature and bills in congress that would have negative effects on our water systems
and land. More recently, the Wisconsin Assembly approved a bill rolling back wetlands regulations for builders. Counties and l
ocal governments need to be on the forefront of advocating against such policies that will have a direct effect on our communities.
Thank you again for sending me this email, and thank you for all the hard work you all do!
Drinking water from private wells and in older homes has a high likelihood to be contaminated with lead or arsenic. Many
private wells in Oshkosh and Neenah are contaminated with arsenic.
If elected to Winnebago County Board, I will support the discounted testing of private wells and allowing private well owners to
switch to city water. Another option I would support is to offer grants for well owners to drill new wells or install water treatment
systems in their homes. I would also support legislation requiring the testing of well water at the time of property transfer and
putting usage restrictions on high-capacity wells which can increase arsenic levels in well water. Additionally I will support measures
to prevent water contamination due to farming, industries, and mining. I hope to be a part of Winnebago County's efforts to
educate the public about water contamination and the importance of testing water in an effort to support the health and safety of our
I know there are well contamination & high nitrate levels in Wood County. In District # 19 (Saratoga), drinking water is pristine
owing to the fact that there arefew pollution sources. The sandy soils in south Wood County are a very delicate eco-system
that has been protected by the forested pine plantations which are now slowly being thinned and encroached upon. In the
Marshfield area (clay soils) there are trouble spots just east of the city of Marshfield, down gradient of Tri-Star dairy near
Auburndale and on west Highway 10 in the Nasonville area. The problem here is that Wood County needs to do a
randomized groundwater well safety survey like Portage Co. has done to more clearly identify "hot spots" and the reason for
the challenges to clean drinking water. Wood County also needs monitoring wells in "suspect" areas, much like the monitoring
wells installed by the Town of Saratoga. Powerful members of the Wood Co. Board have consistently fought, throughout my
two terms on the Board, to not identify problem areas or identify pollution sources. That needs to change. They are
endangering countless, often unsuspecting, rural residents who don't have their water tested because it looks ok and
I am 200% behind the need for clean drinking water. Since my election in 2014, every initiative, resolution, and ordinance to
protect our precious water has been undertaken by Supervisor Bill Clendenning and myself. Many have passed. I fought for the
creation of the Central Sands Groundwater Group and have tried to bring all stakeholders to the table in an effort to protect and
restore our most precious natural resource. I am in constant contact with state legislators, publicly testified in Madison in favor of
the Shankland bill (AB686) and continue to work to educate all Wisconsinites to the need to protect "clean water". Owing to the
pro-business, anti environment make up of the Walker administration and their stranglehold of both houses of the state legislature,
I am beginning to see the need for a more localized, grass-roots effort to protect both surface and groundwater. I also believe that
groups like CWC need to be in attendance at every committee meeting and every County Board meeting, plead their case for
"clean water" and demand action from their county board members. Absent that, those county board members should be
Did not answer this given question but supplied response below.
Hello, Thank you for reaching out. I appreciate your zeal in protecting our water resources and your campaign to bring water
issues to the attention of Wisconsin citizens. I have taken note of the questions you are asking. I am unable to answer the first
question, as I am not yet a county supervisor and do not know where to turn for specific answers to that question.
I am concerned with both the quality and quantity of drinking water in Wood County. I am alarmed at the way the DNR has become
more and more lax at enforcing best practices at the state level, and I am becoming convinced that county governments need to
hold the line on permitting mega-farms, mining and other water intensive operations, insisting that those businesses take
responsibility for their use of land and water through management, insurance and what ever other tools are available before being
permitted. I realize that water issues vary in different areas of the state. However, the underlying foundational issue of water
stewardship for all citizens is key in ensuring that our laws and rules provide for safe drinking water for everyone.
Phone conversation with Bob indicates he is concerned with water conditions in Wood COunty and promotes clean water
through participation in the Miladore Groundwater Guardians program as well as being a member of the Mill Creek
Watershed group that promotes progressive farming practices.
Bob indicated the move within the Land and Water Commission to promote No-Till Agriculture and is reaching out to local
individuals making them aware of the machinery that the county has available for their use to try a no-till approach.
Frac-sand mining is a proven destabilizing operation which causes earthquakes in the areas of Oklahoma where it is practice.
This link (http://www.msnbc.com/the-last-word/oklahoma-earthquakes-linked-fracking-study) provides more information
even though the State of Oklahoma paints a different picture of the issue. I am strongly opposed to any form of fracking in our
county with this evidence backing up the concerns of many. Concentrated animal feeding operations this is another area of
concern that I cannot and will not support. The sandy soil of our county does not filter excessive accumulations of manure
and the runoff and possible ground water contamination. The CAFO's may also be a source of excessive production of meat a
nd milk which could cause reductions in the pricing of these commodities making it harder for the family farms to stay
financially solvent. Lead pipes have been a concern for years and will be a concern until the replacement cycles are
completed on the pipes supplying water. We need as a County Board to review the replacement plan, its associated costs,
and inspection processes. Industrial acid mining industry was given a second life by the Governor and the Legislators who
lifted the ban so they claim me jobs and moving Wisconsin forward at the price of our environment. This also true of the
wetlands that the Foxconn project, which is still moving forward, will be taking away from our wildlife. The wetlands also act
as a filtering system for our ground water to help reduce or slow down the contaminates that may eventually head to local
wells, lakes or rivers. here has been very little published information in our local newspapers, or covered by local TV stations,
or even in online sources for those with social media access. Our schools do not even teach an environmental awareness
class to teach future generations the importance of the environment and how to identify issues before they become too
serious. We had Aldo Leapold (Sand County Almanac), Rachel Carson (Silent Spring), and other conservationists who taught
us their valuable lessons.
There has been no unified tracking of ground water quality in our local areas even with mandatory testing of the wells in Wood
County used for irrigating private and public lawns. Where is the information from the wells used in the agricultural areas around
our communities. As aboard we need to start tracking all these sources and keep a running yearly record to find the trends and
possible encroachment of ground water contaminates. The CAFO industries in the areas of Wood County need to be monitored
along with industrial sites that are active or demolished to monitor the wells and ground water quality. Then we should review water
treatment from our communities and industries to see how effective the processes are and identify areas that could be improved as
technology make water quality cleaner.
I would draw upon all the concerns expressed and keep looking for better methodologies and work with agricultural entities
and industrial industries to discover better ways to keep our water sources clean. Another area we can review is the building
inspection process and when we could request an inspection to identify areas of improvement. The other are we need to review is
how to make changes to the water quality process affordable for home owners, rental units whether they be house rentals or
apartments, communities, and business.
Wood County Arsenic and Nitrate levels are below the state average in municipal water supplies but higher in private wells.
The concerns that we should be worried about is that there are 120 open status sites within Wood County that have
contaminated water and/or soil which are composed of 51 leaking underground storage tanks, 44 environmental repair sites,
and 25 spill sites. Source provided by wi.water.usgs.gov.
We have to be proactive and take action with farms, industry, and personal use pesticides ad herbicides. Although nitrate levels
are low, but increased runoff could effect the long term results. We need to provide more incentives to private well owners to get
wells tested annually. In 2016, only 46 tests were given out to private well owners with no incentive on following through with the
completion or results.
Depending on your specific location in Wood County wells can range from very good to at-risk for a variety of pollutants.
In most cases levels of nitrates and Atrazine are relatively low with only a few in the 5.1-10.0 mg/l range. Lead seems to be
relatively low except in a few sections in the Southwestern portion of the county with one section showing in excess of 101
ppb. Bacteria counts however appear to be in the heavy range in quite a few sections throughout the county with more in the
northern half than the southern half. This may be the result of a growing number of CAFOs in our county and while I
understand the economics of these operations, it is incumbent on the county government to establish appropriate regulation
that will guarantee the safety of our ground water for present and future generations. Working together with agricultural
operations, who in the past have provided incomes to working family farmers and supporting businesses, with the public's
interests in the forefront, we should be able to maintain a strong agricultural base while protecting our ground water.
Always error on the side of safety. It is an unfortunate reality that we are unable to go back and right a wrong when it involves
something as complex as our environment and the health of our most vulnerable individuals. As a consequence, it is imperative that
those of us who represent the public consider what is safety beyond a reasonable doubt, and that we establish regulations that
protect the public we serve.
It is my understanding, from easily accessed information, 97% of our communities rely on groundwater, which, once
contaminated, is difficult (sometimes impossible) to clean up. I’ve also discovered southern Wood County is very susceptible
to contamination. Our whole area and beyond is at risk for everything from the results of mining, lead, sewage and oil pipeline
leaks, as well as the current CAFO case before the state supreme court. This is not an extremist view or one that can be
easily ignored by throwing money in the opposite direction. It is real. And, it affects us all in ways we won’t fully grasp until
years from now.
I also oppose any legislation allowing abandonment of contaminated wells without treatment and fines or punishment of any sort. You made it dirty. You clean it up. If you try to weasel out of it, you will be punished. I am against mining that falls outside scientifically proven, environmentally safe standards and concentrated corporate farms. This includes all frac mining. I’ve lived in area where frac mining was encouraged. The aftermath is neither profitable nor environmentally sound.
Thank you for your questions. I have been a strong supporter of our environment for decades. Please visit my Facebook page,
Jay Jackson for supervisor. Now, as to your questions:
Q1a-The municipal water supplies are tested regularly and treated, as to maintain a safe, clean, potable water supply.
Records are kept as to the quality of the water by each municipality. Wood County Planning and Zoning Department issues
permits for private septic and wells. The DNR regulates testing in Wisconsin, in 2016 more than 99 percent of public water met
the EPA requirements for maximum contaminate levels. The contaminants detected most often in drinking water in Wisconsin
are bacteria, nitrate, arsenic and radionuclides. When contaminants exceed permissible levels, DNR works with water
systems to correct problems and return to compliance as soon as possible.
Private wells are wells that are not part of a public water supply. Private wells have fewer than 15 connections and serve fewer
than 25 people. They are usually wells that serve a single home or farmhouse. Unlike public water systems, protection and
maintenance of a private well is largely the responsibility of homeowners. The private wells are tested at the time they are
installed to verify that they meet the maximum contaminate level. Future testing is up to the owner. Of the tested private wells
in wood county for nitrates, bacteria, arsenic, 23 wells showed elevated levels. Because not everyone tests their wells on a
regular basis there is no way to do a percentage of wells.
b. Areas in the sands where high capacity wells are in place, pose a greater risk to being polluted with agricultural runoff
I would propose annual testing requirements for private wells to assure that they are having good, clean, water to drink. If they
require filtering/treatment to meet water quality safety standards, i would propose a grant or loan program to meet their needs.
If elected, I will make clean water my main goal as it is essential to life. Life for people, animals, plants, and the economy-tourism,
hunting, fishing, water sports.
The Wood County southern sands have problems with nitrates and other contaminants. Even “good wells,” are starting to
show some signs of contamination but remain in the acceptable limits. In northern Wood County heavier soils, the problem
is contaminant run-off, and not so much of the groundwater contamination we deal with in the south of Wood County.
owever, here in southern Wood County, those concerned about clean water are holding our “collective breath” waiting for the
Wisconsin Supreme Court decision on the Wysocki v. Saratoga case. If the court decides against Saratoga, and a CAFO is
built we will face possible catastrophic residential well contamination, stream pollution and other environmental nightmares.
I will continue to support clean water legislation, resolutions and ordinances, on which I have a 100% voting record. Sadly, our
county lags behind other counties in Wisconsin in bringing meaningful clean water legislation out of committee. We seem at the
county level to lack the desire to do so. We lack the “fire in the belly” on water issues I feel.