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Look up
data about the quality of groundwater near homes or businesses or get an estimate of groundwater availability.
the quality and quantity of groundwater for your family, business customers and community.
where your groundwater comes from and how it moves underground to reach your drinking water well and the lakes and streams you enjoy.

GCC Report to the Legislature Agency activities

State agencies and the University of Wisconsin System addressed numerous issues related to groundwater protection and management in FY 16. Here are highlights and detailed discussions of the groundwater activities of each agency.

Department of Natural Resources

Photo of water supply specialists

DNR water supply specialists test a new water supply sampling
method developed by the State Laboratory of Hygiene. The
method will help public water systems distinguish whether
the source of bacterial contamination is in the groundwater or
from within the water system. Photo credit: DNR.


  • Well owners more routinely receive current information about arsenic levels in drinking water under new sampling protocol for pump work or a property transfer inspection.
  • Used a new GIS system to protect separation distances between waste application and community and school water supplies via review and monitoring of land-applied waste.
  • Coordinated drug collection programs and developed informational materials to reduce the risk that pharmaceuticals will reach groundwater through landspreading or septic systems.

» Read more.

Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection

Photo of a monitoring well

Monitoring well near an agricultural field. Photo credit: DATCP.


  • Awarded the first annual Producer Led Watershed Protection Grants which provide farmer led groups incentives to address agricultural nonpoint contributions.
  • Repeating the statewide statistical sampling survey of pesticides and nitrates in private wells for the first time since 2008; expanded to analyze close to 80 pesticide compounds.

» Read more.

Department of Health Services

Photo of DHS staff presenting health implications of arsenic in well water

DHS staff presenting on the health implications of arsenic in
well water at an Ozaukee County event attended by over
150 members of the public. Photo credit: Ozaukee County
Public Health Department.


  • Provided technical assistance and funding for five local public health agencies for projects related to contaminants in drinking water through the Environmental Public Health Tracking program.
  • Facilitated community meetings and funded 11 local public health agencies to address groundwater related health impacts of climate and extreme weather through the Building Resilience Against Climate Effects program.

» Read more.

Wisconsin Geological & Natural History Survey

Photo of a frac sand mine in Chippewa County

Mike Parsen, a hydrogeologist at the WGNHS, measures
streamflow. Photo credit: Madeline Gotkowitz, WGNHS.


  • Creating an inventory of the springs of Wisconsin.
  • Developed the Little Plover River groundwater flow model to help people understand the groundwater system and inform management decisions.
  • Studying the potential impacts to groundwater resources from industrial sand mining and irrigated agriculture in Chippewa County.

» Read more.

Department of Transportation

Photo of a truck applying road salt

Applying road salt during a winter storm. Photo credit:
Midwest Geosciences Group.


  • Equipped county trucks that work on the state highway system with AVL/GPS equipment to better track salt usage across the state.
  • Provided customized forecasts using an advanced Road Weather Information System based on pavement and weather sensors for 58 sites across the state.

» Read more.

University of Wisconsin System

Photo of Little Plover River

Little Plover River, the recent focus of a project to build
trust among scientists, water users and citizens' groups.
Photo credit: UW WRI


  • Funded a project to more actively involve citizens and stakeholders in water use decisions.
  • Assembled a traveling photography display highlighting the state's wealth of water that has traveled to 14 venues this reporting period.
  • Created all–inclusive kits for children in pre-K to fourth grade to teach age appropriate STEM concepts with a water theme; these are booked out for months into the future.

» Read more.

Department of Safety and Professional Services

Photo of private on-site wastewater treatment system

Installing a private on–site wastewater treatment system
(POWTS), or septic system. Photo credit: DSPS.


  • Over 90% of statewide private on-site wastewater treatment systems (POWTS) have been inventoried and more than a third of counties are operating a maintenance program for all POWTS in their jurisdiction

» Read more.

Federal Partners

State agencies collaborate with several key federal agency partners to work on Wisconsin groundwater issues, including:

Governor’s Representative Report

Photo of an Steve Diercks

Steve Diercks, the Governor's Representative to the GCC,
and his son Andy on their farm in Coloma. Photo credit:


  • The Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Grower Association (WPVGA) Groundwater Task Force co-funded groundwater monitoring wells in three areas in the Central Sands that have a high risk for surface water impacts.
  • The WPVGA continues to fund studies to evaluate and implement strategies that increase the efficiency of irrigation.

» Read more.

Last revised: Tuesday August 23 2016