drinking water

Merrill May Consider Vote on Fluoride in Water

Dec 29, 2020
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Voters in Merrill may have a say in whether fluoride will be removed from the city's water supply.

City Administrator David Johnson says some residents feel it's not fair that city residents get the dental benefits from it, while those who rely on well water don't.

“The argument from some is because people outside the city don’t have it and with the toothpaste and other fluoride products now there really isn’t a need for it within the city.”

Johnson says it's up to the city council if the issue will go for a vote.

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Republican lawmakers have blocked the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources from enforcing some new regulations designed to keep some PFAS chemicals out of the environment.

The Legislature’s GOP-controlled rules committee on Friday voted 6-4 along party lines to strip key language from a newly-adopted rule limiting the use of firefighting foam containing the “forever chemicals” known as PFAS, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

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The DNR and the Wisconsin PFAS Action Council is seeking public input on its PFAS Action Plan.

PFAS is a group of chemicals created in the 1930s.The chemicals are used in a range of products including non-stick cookware, waterproof clothing, and firefighting foam.

In recent years, PFAS has been found in Wisconsin ground water, surface water, and drinking water as well as animal and fish tissue.

The issue is if enough of the chemical builds up in a person, say through their drinking water contaminated with high concentrations of it, it can lead to health issues.

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is announcing a $500 million plan to upgrade drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.

The initiative is called MI Clean Water. It calls for creating a pot of money from which local governments could apply for grants or loans to improve their water treatment systems.

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Shanai Matteson poured three small cups of water for Mary Moxon last Friday, putting them on a wooden board, like a flight of beers at a craft brewery.

“It’s very subtle, but water has different tastes, and it has to do with the mineral content of the water, the treatment of the water,” Matteson said.  “Sometimes it has to do with the pipes or the container that the water comes in.”

Matteson had just set up her table, called a popup Water Bar, at Project North, a music and sustainability festival in Rhinelander.

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Ron Wiedeman’s ancestors came here around 1900, as best as he can tell.

It’s a swath of land along the Wisconsin River in the Town of Crescent, just southwest of Rhinelander.

“I’ve lived in this area my whole life,” said Wiedeman, sitting at his kitchen table.

When he was a kid, the spring now known as Crescent Spring was on his family’s property.

“Just clean, fresh water, always clean, and good tasting water,” Wiedeman said.  “I’ve [drunken] out of there since I was probably eight years old.”

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Nearly three-quarters of Wisconsin residents rely on groundwater as the primary source for their drinking water.

The Wisconsin Groundwater Coordinating Council is directed to assist state agencies relating to groundwater programs. They recently shared key recommendations for protecting and preserving groundwater resources with the legislature.

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The DNR announced new water quality initiatives as part of Governor Evers' Year of Clean Drinking Water declaration.

The DNR asked the Department of Health Service to review 40 contaminants for possible groundwater quality standards. This work comes on the heels of the department asking DHS last spring to review an initial 27 contaminants, including very difficult to pronounce chemicals known as PFAS. PFAS have been used for decades in numerous products, such as non-stick cookware, fast food wrappers, stain resistant sprays and firefighting foam.

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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...

Groups Say Water Quality Task Force Necessary, Overdue

Jan 14, 2019
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Wisconsin News Connection is here.  

MADISON, Wis. - A new water quality task force has been proposed for Wisconsin after a recent study showed widespread health concerns about drinking water wells in several counties.

DNR: Search for Source of Groundwater Contamination Near Lake Michigan Continues

Jun 22, 2018
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MARINETTE, Wis. - Wisconsin DNR officials say testing is still ongoing near Lake Michigan after Tyco Fire Products found new evidence of groundwater pollution at its manufacturing plant in Marinette.

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Every three years, all states are required under the federal Clean Water Act to review their water quality standards.

Topics evaluated in the review include policies, rules and guidance related to designated uses, water quality criteria, anti-degradation and variance. The DNR is taking public input as part of this review.

DNR Water Quality Specialist Marcia Willhite says they are asking for public input on surface water quality....

Rep. Shankland Introduces Clean Water Legislation

Nov 22, 2017
Wisconsin Legislative Documents

MADISON, WI (WSAU) -- State Representative Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point) recently introduced what she's calling "Clean Water Legislation".

The bill would provide $100,000 annually for the DNR to administer private well testing in a grant program working with local governments.

Rep. Shankland says she's talked to many people affected by unclean drinking water in the state.

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A trade group says Wisconsin is among four states that has the highest levels of nitrate, which can cause health problems in pregnant women and the young.

The Water Quality Association is an Illinois-based trade association representing the residential, commercial, industrial, and small community water treatment industry in the United States.

Their spokesperson Wes Bleed says another association, The Environmental Working Group, has a report listing the places with the highest levels...

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The state is out with its annual report on our groundwater and two pollutants continue to be present: e coliform bacteria and nitrates.

The Groundwater Coordinating Council Report finds nearly three-fourths of state residents rely on groundwater as their primary source of drinking water.

DNR Groundwater Section Chief Bruce Rheineck says well contamination can come from a variety of sources...

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