groundwater

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The state is stressing the importance of investing in the next generation of groundwater professionals during National Groundwater Awareness Week going on through Saturday.

Begun by the National Ground Water Association (NGWA) since 1999, the week-long observance highlights the responsible use of groundwater. A DNR spokesperson says it also serves as a platform to promote yearly well testing to prevent waterborne illnesses.

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The Oneida County Board this week extended for up to one year a moratorium on the siting of large livestock facilities in the county until rules can be worked out and approved.

Planning and Zoning Director Karl Jenrich outlines the proposal...

Clean-Water Advocates Encouraged by State-Level Activity

Jan 17, 2020
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MADISON, Wis. -- More states might make clean water a priority in 2020, and Wisconsin is among them as lawmakers seek to protect residents from harmful chemicals and other contaminants.

A group of state lawmakers say they plan to seek approval of legislation that would invest millions of dollars in programs to help ensure Wisconsin has clean drinking water. The bipartisan panel made the announcement after gathering information in 2019.

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A Langlade County Board subcommittee met on Monday to consider a plan to monitor drinking water nitrate levels.

UW-Stevens Point groundwater specialist, Kevin Masarik, made a presentation to the board about county water wells. Masarik found that over 6% of wells tested exceeded 10 milligrams per liter, which is above the amount in safe water. Nitrates enter the water system usually because of agricultural activities and septic systems. The highest concentration of wells with elevated nitrates occurs in the Antigo flats, which is also where most of the county’s residents reside.

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The conservation group Wisconsin's Green Fire is hoping the public speaks up at the Joint Committee on Finance meeting Wednesday in Green Bay to discuss water quality, especially how it relates to farming. The committee is gathering testimony across the state.

Wisconsin’s 2018 Water Quality Report to Congress still finds that farming practices are the leading cause of water pollution in Wisconsin.

Governor Tony Evers has declared 2019 as the year of clean drinking water. Green Fire spokesperson Paul LaLiberte says there is some interest in Madison to follow this idea...

Records Show Tyco Knew Source of Groundwater Contamination

Feb 5, 2019
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Wisconsin News Connection is here.  

MARINETTE, Wis. - State records show Tyco Fire Products knew that its toxic products were contaminating groundwater at least four years before they notified residents.

Reporting from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel found the company discovered soil and well contamination on the Marinette manufacturer's fire training property in 2013, according to records at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Central WI Counties Search for Solutions to Nitrates in Well Water

Jul 20, 2018
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Wisconsin News Connection is here.

NECEDAH, Wis. - Residents in Juneau County and southern Wood County already know they're not supposed to drink their well water - but what they don't know is if, or when, that will change.

Oneida County To Inspect Older Septic Systems

Jun 10, 2014
Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Oneida County is trying to inventory and inspect older septic systems.  Until recently the county only required regular inspections on systems built after 1980.

But Oneida County Zoning Administrator Karl Jennrich says that has changed.  The county now needs to inspect all of them. 

“ Which is kind of interesting this year, because there are individuals that we’ve contacted that don’t know anything about their septic system, that may never have had it inspected or pumped – that don’t even know what they have for a system.” 

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As many people work to put in their gardens this time of year, DNR Wildlife Biologist Jeremy Holtz is gardening with particular goals in mind.  As part of his ongoing series Wildlife Matters, Holtz reflects on gardening for wildlife.  

High Capacity Wells Bill Moves to Senate

Nov 11, 2013
John Poyser

A bill changing the approval process for high capacity wells has passed a Senate committee.  Some environmental groups are up in arms.  

 The bill limits the DNR’s powers in reviewing commercial wells that pump over 100,000 gallons per day.  For example a property with a well on it could be sold without having to get a new well permit.  And applications not acted upon within 65 days would get approved by default. 

John Poyser

Weather conditions last year caused a spike in water use in northern Wisconsin and statewide.  That’s according to new numbers from the DNR water monitoring program.  

DNR water supply specialist Bob Smail says in the northern part of the state one of the biggest increases in surface water use came from cranberry producers.

“Cranberry withdrawals were up.  It was a very warm spring and a lot of growers in the state had to flood their beds to keep their plants from growing too early. So there was an additional withdrawal that they didn’t usually have.”