The Center earns eight awards in the annual competition for its investigations into drinking water problems, skyrocketing prescription drug costs and other problems.
The Society of Professional Journalists names ‘Failure at the Faucet’ the top investigative story among small independent news sites for 2016.
Gaps in federal drinking water standards enforced by the state leave numerous school and day care sites untested for lead in drinking water; numerous lead service lines remain.
Nine months after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency warned against flushing water systems before testing for lead, the state Department of Natural Resources has not yet passed that advice on to public water systems in Wisconsin.
A 2007 survey of private drinking water wells found 1 out of 3 had pesticides or their breakdown chemicals; farm groups oppose push for tougher atrazine rules.
A look at some of the facts and figures behind lead in our drinking water
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.
The water at Fox Lake and Waupun Correctional Institutions is tainted with lead and copper. Officials say they are complying with federal standards, but some inmates and staff question whether it is safe.
Nearly 4,000 children in Wisconsin were diagnosed with elevated levels of lead in their blood in 2014, though the number has fallen over the years thanks in part to bans on lead in paint and gasoline. Unlike in Flint, Michigan, however, no one knows how much lead in the drinking water contributes to elevated blood lead levels in Wisconsin. There are no requirements to test the drinking water when a child is lead poisoned.