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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.


  • DNR has committed to the ongoing maintenance of the statewide groundwater monitoring network. Groundwater level monitoring is one part of the overall groundwater monitoring strategy to coordinate groundwater monitoring between all agencies that assess groundwater quality and quantity in the state.
  • DG and Community Financial Assistance staff issued 68 grants to low-income private well owners, providing over $118,000 to help replace contaminated wells or fill and seal unused wells.

» 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.
  • Repeated 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.


  • Two local public health agencies completed projects related to contaminants in drinking water. Along with providing funding, Wisconsin Environmental Public Health Tracking Program staff connected mini-grantees to subject matter experts and provided technical assistance related to epidemiology, communications and evaluation.
  • Provided technical support for efforts to respond to flooding and other natural disasters that may affect private well water quality.

» 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.
  • Completion and release of the Little Plover River groundwater flow model to help stakeholders in central Wisconsin 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.
  • Release of a new groundwater flow model and accompanying report for Dane 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

Water resources students exploring uranium levels in groundwater

The Groundwater Coordinating Council’s research efforts touch
all corners of the state. Here, University of Wisconsin-Stevens
Point water resources students are exploring uranium levels
in groundwater. Photo credit: William DeVita


  • Funded research projects focused on groundwater microbiology and geochemistry, groundwater-surface water interactions, new monitoring techniques and various groundwater contaminants.
  • Created a new full-time state Water Resources Science-Policy fellowship in partnership with DNR and placed a postdoctoral fellow at the agency.
  • Produced and distributed a new five-part audio podcast series called Undercurrents: The Hidden Knowledge of Groundwater.

» 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 95% of statewide private on-site wastewater treatment systems (POWTS) have been inventoried and more than 75% 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:

Last revised: Thursday August 31 2017