Local officials want to reassure residents about their drinking water, even amid questions about health risks and who will pay to clean up the contamination.
Most nitrate, coliform in Kewaunee County wells tied to animal waste
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.
Fecal microbes found in 60 percent of sampled wells, raising concerns about dairy manure, septic waste
Tests show waste from Kewaunee County’s 97,000 head of cattle contaminates majority of wells, especially after rainfall or snowmelt; human waste also a factor.
As wells go deeper, radium levels rise in state tap water
As communities grow and pump more groundwater, radium from deep bedrock is contaminating dozens of water systems. The city of Waukesha wants to tap into Lake Michigan to solve its radium problem.
After criticizing judge, DNR secretary declines to ‘correct’ ruling on Kewaunee dairy water permit
Among those watching the case for potential statewide impact are rural residents, groundwater advocates and farmers — including Kinnard Farms co-owner Lee Kinnard, whose permit is at issue.
“It doesn’t affect Kinnard Farms. This affects the dairy industry,” Kinnard said. “This is much bigger.”
Kewaunee mega-dairy asks DNR secretary to overrule judge’s permit modifications
In his ruling, Boldt blamed widespread well pollution in the area on what he called a “massive regulatory failure.” Now the farm is challenging his order that its permit include groundwater monitoring and a cap on the number of cows.
Judge blames toxic Kewaunee County wells on ‘massive regulatory failure’
An administrative law judge says “massive regulatory failure” led to groundwater contamination in a dairy farming region and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources must use its powers to prevent further pollution.
Kewaunee County Board unanimously approves waste spreading limits
The ordinance is intended to keep waste — including manure, plus industrial and human waste — from contaminating groundwater in particularly vulnerable areas.
Surge in big dairies backdrop for local efforts to curb cows’ environmental impacts
The growth in large dairies, and concerns about manure disposal from operations of all sizes, have fueled efforts to more tightly regulate their operations or siting. Here’s a partial roundup.
Big farms, frac sand mines could feel force of judge’s groundwater ruling
Two weeks ago, Administrative Law Judge Jeffrey Boldt approved the state Department of Natural Resources’ issuance of permits for a large and controversial dairy farm in Central Wisconsin. But he also reduced the amount of water the farm could pump from proposed high-capacity wells and required the DNR to consider the impact of the withdrawals in conjunction with other, nearby wells — a concept known as cumulative impacts.
In state’s karst area, even good farming may pollute groundwater
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.
Mega-dairy’s growth plans hotly debated
A four-day hearing on challenges to the expansion of a Kewaunee County mega-dairy illustrated deep divisions, ranging from neighbors who shared fears of polluted wells and illness to fertilizer and feed dealers who showed up to express their support of big farms.