The latest findings from a study of drinking water wells and their surroundings finds manure from cows that is stored or spread on farm fields poses the highest risk for certain contaminants.
Failing septic systems, leaking public sewer pipes and landspreading of septic waste can introduce dangerous pathogens into both rural and urban water systems. Experts say Wisconsin needs tougher laws to protect Wisconsin drinking water from contamination by sewage and septic waste.
Hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin residents are at risk of illness from waterborne pathogens in private and public drinking water supplies. Contamination by pathogens is of special concern because unlike pollution by metals or chemicals, pathogens can sicken people after just a single exposure.
Two new studies of private well water in Kewaunee County have linked contamination to fertilizer, livestock manure and human waste. “In these shallow bedrock areas, what you put on the surface, you will end up drinking eventually,” county conservationist Andy Wallander said.
The Yahara watershed is crawling with scientists who keep trying new ways to clean up the lakes.
The Yahara lakes — Mendota, Monona, Wingra, Waubesa and Kegonsa — are no clearer than they were 30 years ago, despite intensive efforts to improve them.