Polluted Water

DNR's Cathy Stepp says a law on water use would help

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Elected officials have been unable to agree on how to regulate the contentious issue. The agriculture and food-processing industries have demanded more water, but in some areas lakes and streams have dried up, raising the ire of waterfront property owners and conservationists.


The Political Environment

GOP Gov. Scott Walker has just signaled he will keep trying to fool all of the people all of the time by stealing the very issue - - clean water for everyone - - which should disqualify him from further public service to keep his inevitable 2018 re-election campaign afloat.

GOP Gov. Scott Walker has just signaled he will keep trying to fool all of the people all of the time by stealing the very issue - - clean water for everyone - - which should disqualify him from further public service to keep his inevitable 2018 re-election campaign afloat.

Though he has thumbed his official nose for 5+ years at his US Clean Water Law obligations, has overseen a statewide reduction in pollution inspections and enforcement, and has carried water (sorry) for whichever wetlands and water abusers needed an official shoulder shrug or pass  - - whether sand mining companies, iron mining special interestsbig aganimal feeding and manure producing operations


Impacting rural drinking water wells, waterways and wetlands

Phosphorus flowing into the lower Fox River watershed, defined as the 39-mile stretch of river between Lake Winnebago and Green Bay.

Phosphorus flowing into the lower Fox River watershed, defined as the 39-mile stretch of river between Lake Winnebago and Green Bay.

Kewaunee County CAFOs generate and land-apply over 340 million gallons of untreated liquefied manure and 81,332 tons of untreated solid manure annually to the county’s cropland (Mueller, 2014). At current rates, Kewaunee County dairies and its small beef cattle herd disposes of over 12.4 million pounds of nitrogen annually, exceeding the crop nutrient uptake capability of county farmland by more than 1.15 million pounds each year (Petition for Emergency Action Pursuant to the Safe Drinking Water Act, 42 U.S.C. §300i, 2014). This excess nitrogen, once a potentially valuable crop amendment, is then released into the local environment, where it converts to nitrates at harmful levels that have had devastating effects on the region’s shallow groundwater resources, negatively impacting rural residents’ drinking water wells, local waterways and wetlands. The Rap Sheets: Industrial Dairies in Kewaunee County, Wisconsin, 2015


Coliform Bacteria and Nitrate Well Contamination

This summer, the Wisconsin DNR required the Picnic and Group area wells and drinking fountains be closed to the public; they cannot be re-opened until steps are taken to resolve the coliform bacteria problems.

This summer, the Wisconsin DNR required the Picnic and Group area wells and drinking fountains be closed to the public; they cannot be re-opened until steps are taken to resolve the coliform bacteria problems.

The Homestead Park well has had nitrate levels above safe drinking water standards for six years. During this timeframe, the well/drinking fountains have been closed to the public and bottled drinking water has been purchased for full-time and seasonal park staff. The Homestead well was constructed in 2002. At the time every precaution was taken to avoid nitrate contamination, the well is 325 feet deep, is 10-inches wide with a 6-inch casing going down 313 feet, the cavity between the well and casing is grouted to 303 feet.

View here well failure PDF