Safe, clean drinking water eludes many Wisconsinites

 Frank Michna buys bottled water for drinking and cooking in his Caledonia home because of high levels of molybdenum and boron in his well.

Frank Michna buys bottled water for drinking and cooking in his Caledonia home because of high levels of molybdenum and boron in his well.

But this polluted water is right here. In many parts of Wisconsin. In a state whose very name evokes the image of lakes and rivers and clean, cool, abundant water.

Lynda Cochart’s water from her private well was so poisoned by salmonella, nitrate, E. coli and manure-borne viruses that one researcher compared the results from her Kewaunee County farm to contamination in a Third World country. She suspects the problem is related to the county’s proliferation of large livestock operations, although testing did not pinpoint the source.

“Realize that we can’t drink, brush our teeth, wash dishes, wash food; we can’t use our water,” Cochart wrote in a letter last year to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, seeking intervention in the county’s drinking water problems.