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Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

August 1999

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Walking on water

Table of Contents
How to order printed copies

Catching trout in crisp clear streams, shooting the rapids in a canoe or kayak, lazing around the lake in an inner tube, quenching your thirst on a hot summer day – none of these activities would be possible without groundwater. Unless you live in one of a few large cities in Wisconsin such as Green Bay or Milwaukee, the water you drink, use for washing, and enjoy for recreation comes from right below your feet. Groundwater is Wisconsin's invisible resource – our buried treasure.

"Groundwater: Wisconsin's buried treasure" was first published in 1983 to educate citizens about the resource we use every day but can't see. In 1989, "Groundwater: Protecting Wisconsin's buried treasure" highlighted the actions state agencies and individuals were taking to safeguard groundwater. This revised edition of "Groundwater: Protecting Wisconsin's buried treasure" will introduce new protection programs, and remind us all that as Wisconsin citizens, we hold the ultimate responsibility for guarding our valuable groundwater resource.

To order printed copies of "Groundwater: Protecting Wisconsin's buried treasure," send an email message to Laura Chern with your name, address and number of copies desired.

Table of Contents
Walking on water

Using groundwater
The quality and quantity of groundwater varies
On the home front
Thirsty cities
A fluid economy
Wet and wild

Understanding the resource
Groundwater on the move
Wisconsin's aquifers
Sand and gravel aquifer
Eastern dolomite aquifer
Sandstone and dolomite aquifer
Crystalline bedrock aquifer

Threats to groundwater
Air pollution is water pollution, too
Fertilizer and manure storage and application
Use and misuse of pesticides
Ponds, lagoons and land disposal of wastewater
Private onsite wastewater treatment systems
Spills and illegal dumping
Leaking underground storage tanks
Abandoned and drainage wells
Sources of natural contamination
Groundwater cleanup

Protecting the resource
Wisconsin's Groundwater Law
The Groundwater Coordinating Council
Dept. of Natural Resources
Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey
Dept. of Transportation
Dept. of Health and Family Services
Dept. of Commerce
Dept. of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
University of Wisconsin-Extension
Educational institutions
United States Geological Survey
Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene
Research: A closer look at groundwater
Who's in charge of groundwater? (chart)

Protect the groundwater you drink and use
Examine your own habits
Waste minimization
Take care of your septic system
Properly locate and construct wells
What else can you do?

When you need assistance
Who can answer my questions about groundwater?
How safe is my drinking water?

Groundwater glossary

Groundwater myths!


Project coordinators
Laura Chern, David L. Sperling

Laura Chern, Dave Johnson, Maureen Mecozzi

Maureen Mecozzi

Graphic design
Moonlit Ink

Image scanning
Pam Hujanen

Technical assistance

Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey
Ron Hennings, Ken Bradbury

Central Wisconsin Groundwater Center
Chris Mechenich

UW Environmental Resources Center
Jim Peterson

Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
Jeff Postle, Jane Larson

U.S. Geological Survey
Jim Krohelski, Michelle Greenwood

State Lab of Hygiene
Amy Mager

Wisconsin Dept. of Health and Family Services
Chuck Warzecha

Dept. of Transportation
Bob Pearson

Dept. of Commerce
Sheldon Schall, Roman Kominski, John Stricker

Additional DNR staff
Paul Huebner, Robin Schmidt, Laurie Egre, Darsi Foss