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DNR-funded study identifies trace amounts of salmonella, rotavirus in small sample of Kewaunee wells

Contact(s): Jim Dick, DNR spokesman, 608-267-2773,; Julie Lund, DHS spokeswoman, 608-266-5862,

May 3, 2016 at 5:23:42 pm

MADISON, Wis.- As part of a DNR-funded study, test results reported late Monday afternoon show the presence of salmonella and/or rotavirus in 11 private Kewaunee County wells.

Property owners have been notified of the findings, which are typically associated with fecal contamination. No illnesses have been reported in connection with these findings.

The 11 property owners are being advised to stop using the water for drinking or bathing and have their wells chlorinated by a licensed professional. Property owners within a half mile radius of the affected wells are being advised by Kewaunee County to have their wells tested.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will cover the cost of the test within a half mile radius. The research team will conduct further analysis of the 11 wells.

Early indications from the researchers suggest the rotavirus may be bovine. However additional analysis is needed to confirm. According to DHS, bovine rotavirus is typically not transmissible to humans. Salmonella is a bacterial illness with symptoms that range in severity.

The 11 property owners with affected wells are part of a larger study commissioned by DNR in conjunction with researchers from USDA, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Stevens Point, Kewaunee County and USGS to provide more data on possible causes and solutions to groundwater challenges in the region.

To learn more about resources for private well owners, visit and search "private well testing." Information on Kewaunee County as well as the water quality from municipal systems throughout the state can be found on DNR's water quality page (/topic/drinkingwater/quality.html).

Last Revised: Tuesday, May 03, 2016

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