Contact(s): Eric Nitschke, Southeast Regional Director, 414-263-8570
MILWAUKEE - A series of informational meetings for the public on molybdenum in southeast Wisconsin groundwater will be held by the Department of Natural Resources over the next two months.
The first meeting for-- Caledonia residents --will be held on Thursday, February 21, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Trinity Lutheran Church and School, 7900 Nicholson Road in Caledonia.
Two more meetings are planned, including a second meeting slated for Monday, March 11. Details of the additional meetings will be shared with the public and posted on the DNR web site as soon as they become available.
"The Caledonia meeting is the first of several we plan on holding," said DNR Southeast Regional Director Eric Nitschke. "Because elevated levels of molybdenum impact several communities, we will conduct meetings at a number of locations in the southeast region. For the first meeting, we want to give Caledonia residents the opportunity to learn how this impacts them specifically."
Residents are invited to attend anytime between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., and the meeting will be in an open house format. Tables will be set up for residents to talk to local and state officials about health issues, testing their wells and how to treat well water for elevated levels of molybdenum.
"We will provide as many chances as we can for the public to get information, express their concerns on the issue and offer input. We're there to listen," said Nitschke.
The Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) has been working closely with water treatment firms on testing to provide an approved, in-home device for removal of molybdenum. The agency stated that distillation and reverse osmosis devices would effectively remove molybdenum, and expects approval of the devices for that use by March 30.
The DNR, local officials and well owners first learned of molybdenum at elevated levels in a handful of private wells in the Caledonia area in August 2009. An extensive DNR study completed in January helped identify areas of Milwaukee, Waukesha and Racine counties that have elevated levels of molybdenum, but was unable to pinpoint the origin of the molybdenum.
The agency recommends that, along with routine well testing for bacteria and nitrate, residents using private wells in the following communities should sample and test their well water for molybdenum:
• the towns of Caledonia, Raymond and Norway in Racine County;
• the city of Muskego in Waukesha County; and
• residents using private wells in Franklin and Oak Creek in Milwaukee County.
A new DNR web page on molybdenum is now available that helps explain how residents can get health information on molybdenum and how to access well testing and treatment options. Simply go to the DNR's web site http://dnr.wi.gov/ and type in the key word "molybdenum." Visitors to the molybdenum web page are encouraged to sign up for the agency's GovDelivery list to receive email updates on meetings and other information.