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National Drinking Water Awareness Week Highlights Fragile Necessary Resource

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Governor Evers declared 2019 as the year of drinking water in Wisconsin, as part of highlighting the importance of clean water.

But this week focuses on groundwater as it's National Groundwater Awareness Week, looking at the 3.9 million people and businesses in Wisconsin dependent on groundwater.

Bruce Rheineck is DNR Groundwater Section Chief.

He says with two out of every three people in Wisconsin needing groundwater it's important to make sure your groundwater source has safe water. He encourages private well owners to check...

"..Unlike when you're hooked up to a utility where staff does maintenance, inspection and testing, we want to take this week to remind private well owners, they too, should be doing some annual checkup of their system that is providing them with drinking water. The kind of moniker we're using this year is to test your well for the common contaminants that we have found in the past. Those would be nitrate, bacteria, and arsenic...."

Besides testing, Rheineck says wells should have regular inspections by a licensed professional. Warning signs include a cracked well cap, debris near the wellhead, or flooding around the well after a storm. He says several types of treatment options are available should a problem arise in the well.

He says UW-Extension has a product approval program for home water treatment devices. More information on groundwater is at the website ngwa.org

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