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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 2018. 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. © 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 60 grants to low-income private well owners, providing over $114,000 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. © DATCP.


  • Awarded grants to 11 producer-led groups for FY 2017 funding, and grants to 19 producer-led groups for FY 2018 funding through the Producer Led Watershed Protection Grant program.
  • Published the results of the most recent statewide statistical sampling survey of pesticides and nitrates in private wells that included testing for 100 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. © Ozaukee County
Public Health Department.


  • Provided health education and information dissemination related to several groundwater contamination sites in Wisconsin, including one in which perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) have been found in private wells in Marinette County.
  • Wisconsin Environmental Public Health Tracking Program gave mini-grants to local public health agencies and tribal health agencies to increase overall environmental public health improvement initiatives.

» Read more.

Wisconsin Geological & Natural History Survey

Photo of groundwater modeling near Lulu Lake

WGNHS is partnering with The Nature Conservancy to collect
the data that is critical for building a groundwater model of a
priority wetland near Lulu Lake in the Mukwonago basin.
© David Hart, WGNHS.


  • Completing an inventory of the springs of Wisconsin.
  • Studying the potential impacts to groundwater resources from industrial sand mining and irrigated agriculture in Chippewa County.
  • Completed a hydrogeologic characterization for the Town of Lincoln, Kewaunee County.
  • Investigated changes in nitrate concentrations in groundwater beneath agricultural fields.

» Read more.

Department of Transportation

Photo of a truck applying road salt

Applying road salt during a winter storm. ©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 GCC's research efforts touch all corners of the state. Here,
University of Wisconsin-Madison Ph.D. student Dom Ciruzzi is
charting the effect of trees on water levels in the Central
Sands area. © Sara Stathas.


  • Funded research projects focused on groundwater microbiology and geochemistry, groundwater-surface water interactions, new monitoring techniques and various groundwater contaminants.
  • Maintained the Wisconsin Water Library, providing access to more than 30,000 volumes of water-related information.
  • Produced and distributed four issues of the Aquatic Sciences Chronicle highlighting water research and the people who conduct water research and outreach.

» 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. © DSPS.


  • Over 98% 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.
  • Partnered with numerous technical colleges to offer and provide instruction for a 2.5-day class developed for prospective and current soil testers to properly identify and evaluate soil and site conditions for the placement of POWTS systems.

» 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. © WPVGA.


  • Collaboration on the Little Plover River Watershed Enhancement Project (LPRWEP). This multi-party collaboration will improve the health of the Little Plover River (LRP) and the quality of life of the surrounding community.
  • Working with the Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (WISA), collecting and posting data from over 25 monitoring wells to continuously track fluctuations in groundwater at regular intervals across three areas designated as high risk for surface water impacts.

» Read more.

Last revised: Thursday August 30 2018