Saturday, May 5, 2018

Contaminated Central Sands waters echo Kewaunee County concerns

Tainted well water in northeast Wisconsin and especially in Kewaunee County, near big dairy operations
Manure runoff in Kewaunee County

is getting recent, long-overdue attention.

In fact, the DNR makes bottled water available in Kewaunee County to any resident experiencing what's called a 'brown water event.'

But these conditions are not limited to Northeast Wisconsin, as the US EPA showed up in Central Wisconsin last week and began digging a huge number of test wells to track down the source of well water contamination there.

On Monday, workers from the EPA began a large-scale project to drill wells in Juneau County near a large dairy farm to test for elevated levels of nitrates and other contamination, according state and federal officials...
The farm in question, Central Sands Dairy in the Town of Armenia, is a concentrated animal feeding operation, or CAFO, with a permit to manage more than 6,000 cattle, state records show.
I'd written about this in 2016: 
Groundwater in the Wisconsin's central sands region is both over-pumped and contaminated at high levels by animal waste runoff, but officials have been unable 
or unwilling to stop it.
The owners of that dairy are major Walker donors - - noted also in this summary posting - -  and have been stymied in their efforts by local activists, officials and litigation to build another large concentrated animal feeding operation, or CAFO, in Wood County.

Given Walker's laissez-faire approach to DNR management and on-site inspections, weak laws approved by a Legislature obeisant to Big Ag and Big Dairy and continuing expansion of CAFOs while small farmers fail, it's going to take a cleansing blue wave to drastically reduce the brown water events.

Final notes:

The grassroots group Protect Wood County has an information website, and this important notice:
Saratoga’s Community Water Test Results 
May 14, 6:30 – 7:30 PM at Saratoga Town Hall 
Kevin Masarik, integrated specialist with UW Extension in the College of Natural Resources – University of Wisconsin Stevens Point will deliver results.
And the grassroots group Kewaunee Cares has a powerful website, too. 

No comments: