Groundwater collaboration workgroup
Given the unique hydrogeology in certain regions of the state, specifically the karst geology in northeast Wisconsin, the Department of Natural Resources is helping facilitate a groundwater work group to assess issues regarding landspreading and contamination of groundwater and drinking water wells.
This core group will work on overarching issues and develop proposed actions and potential solutions to reduce risk to public health and groundwater quality that could not only be applied in northeast Wisconsin and other vulnerable areas of the state.
Kewaunee County groundwater research - June 2017 public meeting
In 2015 the DNR and its partner organizations commissioned a two-year research study to determine types, sources and locations of groundwater and well contaminants in Kewaunee County to help collect scientific data that can help the department and other stakeholders formulate potential solutions. The study began November 2015 and final results are currently being analyzed.
Additional information about state agency efforts in Kewaunee County.
- Agencies actions related to groundwater concerns in Kewaunee County
- Staying safe from bacteria in wells - DHS fact sheet
- Temporary water for private well users affected by fecal bacteria contamination from livestock (RR-078) - DNR NR 738 fact sheet
For more agency information about wells and water quality, see the following state agency websites.
- WI Dept. of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) private onsite wastewater treatment systems (POWTS)
- WI Dept. of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS): POWTS Replacement/Rehabilitation Financial Assistance Program (Wisconsin Fund)
- WI Dept. of Health Services (DHS): Manure contamination of resident wells
- WI Dept. of Health Services (DHS): Water quality issues
- WI Dept. of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection (DATCP): Manure Advisory System
- WI Dept. of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection (DATCP): Producer Led Watershed Grants
- WI Dept. of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection (DATCP): Nutrient Management
Workgroup final report (June 2016)
The Groundwater Collaboration Workgroup Final Report was completed in June. The final report includes short- and long-term recommendations for protecting groundwater in Kewaunee, Door and Brown counties, as well as recommendations that could be applied throughout Wisconsin. The report also outlines which organizations, groups or individuals are responsible for implementing the specific recommendations. The report is the result of a collaborative effort of local citizens, local government officials and state and federal representatives.
- Groundwater Collaboration Workgroup Final Report
- Additional attachments for Appendix D (these documents are part of the Best Management Practices/Sensitive Areas work group)
- Areas Susceptible to Groundwater Contamination
- Sensitive areas and practices documents
- 2014 Kewaunee County Agricultural Nutrient Balance Summary
- Code 590 Nutrient Management Working Draft 7-31-15
- Practices for Sensitive Areas from DNR and Kewaunee County staff (Draft)
- 2014 Kewaunee County Agricultural Nutrient Balance Summary
- Final Report of the Northeast Wisconsin Karst Task Force
- Bedrock - Kewaunee
- Kewaunee County "r" Restricted Soils
- Kewaunee County "r" Restricted Soils 40"
- Summary of Wastewater Land Application in Kewaunee County
June 2016 Kewaunee County public meeting
A Kewaunee County public meeting on the groundwater workgroup’s final report was held June 23, 2016.
The department is serving as facilitator for the work group and for any subgroups that may form. While some recommendations from this work group may be implemented by the DNR, many other recommendations may be proposed for CAFO operations, the dairy industry, local governments and other local agencies (e.g. health departments), other state agencies and the federal government.
Several stakeholders have expressed concern over groundwater contamination issues in northeast Wisconsin, including environmental groups and concerned citizens that have requested the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency investigate contaminated wells in Kewaunee County. The workgroup will seek input from these and other stakeholders and partners to help shape action plans and recommendations. These groups include (but are not limited to) U.S. EPA, farmers, citizens, local officials, agricultural and environmental groups, soil and water conservation and other state/federal agencies.
Issues the work group will focus on include (but are not limited to):
- identification of susceptible areas;
- landspreading/land application practices;
- drinking water wells and groundwater protection;
- nutrient management plans;
- funding and resources;
- spill response;
- local perspectives; and
Four issue work groups met in fall 2015 through May 2106: Short Term Solutions, Compliance, Sensitive Areas and Communication. A final report was released to the public and posted online in June 2016.
- Short Term Solutions
DNR staff support: Kyle A. Burton
Purpose: To review and define issues faced by individuals in Kewaunee County who have wells which are contaminated by bacteria and/or nitrate. The scope of the workgroup activities will address concerns from these and other concerned citizens and seek avenues to provide clear information for those with contaminated drinking water to quickly and efficiently obtain a safe drinking water source.
Meeting date Documents August 25, 2015 September 28, 2015 October 21, 2015 November 16, 2015 December 16, 2015
DNR staff support: Casey Jones
Purpose: To review and evaluate the current compliance structure regarding currently regulated activities that may affect groundwater. This includes activities regarding well installation/compliance, septic system compliance, municipal and industrial land application, septage waste land application and farm generated manure and process wastewater land application. The scope of this workgroup is to provide information for stakeholders to better understand the regulatory structure and ability of regulatory entities to monitor compliance as well as discuss potential tools and outreach methods to promote compliance.
Meeting date Documents September 11, 2015 September 29, 2015 October 20, 2015 November 17, 2015 December 15, 2015
- Sensitive Areas and Best Management Practices
DNR staff support: Andrew Craig
Purpose: To define sensitive areas that are high risk for groundwater pollution and to recommend management practices that may help reduce or eliminate groundwater pollution and the associated public health risk within these sensitive areas.
The workgroup will compile and review existing information and research, and produce written guidance and recommendations that delineate sensitive areas and management practices within sensitive areas that may contribute to groundwater pollution and increased public health risk. The workgroup final product will include, but not be limited to, narrative summaries along with maps, tables or matrices identifying sensitive areas and recommendations for use (or non-use) of practices intended to reduce or eliminate groundwater pollution in sensitive areas. The workgroup recommendations are intended for: DNR, local government officials, agricultural producers and other interested stakeholders located in these sensitive areas, including, but not limited to private residents, business owners, etc.
- Defining Sensitive Areas, Developing BMPs to Reduce GW Contamination AC10232015
- DNR Wk Grp Background Presentation 5-26-2015
Purpose: To discuss how to take the recommendations/items from the work groups and determine how best to communicate/reach out to our key stakeholders, audiences, etc., so they receive the information in an understandable and accessible way.
Meeting date Documents December 16, 2015 February 11, 2016 May 26, 2016