Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Central Sands residents: call legislators, agencies about the water. Now

People in Wisconsin's Central Sands are past due for clean water.

I included in a July 9 summary blog post about water pollution statewide

CAFO runoff in Kewaunee County

key recent findings of groundwater contamination in Juneau County, including the Towns of Armenia and Port Edwards. 
Widespread well water contamination reported in Juneau County.
Testing of more than 100 water wells in a rural area of Juneau County found 42 percent of them had high levels of nitrates and nitrogen, making the water unsafe to drink, a groundwater specialist said Tuesday.
42%! That's not acceptable.

So here's a plan: Residents of Juneau County and across the Central Sands could contact legislators whose districts are impacted - - specifically State Sen. Patrick Testin, (R-Stevens Point), State Rep. Edward Brooks, (R-Reedsburg), and State Rep. Scott Krug, (R-Nekoosa), and ask them to press both the DNR and EPA for follow through to guarantee that drinking water be made safe.

And ask: why, in 2018, can't the state make that happen?



You can also reach your legislators by calling the Legislative Hotline, toll-free, 1-800-362-9472.

Read what the EPA has said in a recent online update about water sample testing and results, here, and in text, below, and note the "CONTACT and SHARE links.

So weigh in, speak out, demand action and pass the word:

EPA in Wisconsin


Juneau County Groundwater Screening Investigation

Update – July 2018

EPA has released the results of groundwater testing conducted in Juneau County, Wis. EPA’s tests – and others conducted by the county health department -- found elevated levels of nitrates. Region 5 continues to work with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to evaluate the results and determine appropriate next steps. Both agencies will attend a county-sponsored public meeting on Tuesday, July 17.

Background

On April 30 through May 3, 2018, EPA sampled groundwater west of Petenwell Lake in northeast Juneau County after receiving complaints and information from citizens in the area regarding private drinking-water well contamination.

EPA collected groundwater samples at 41 temporary boring locations and 5 private drinking water wells. The samples were analyzed for:
  • nutrients
  • anions
  • total metals
  • nitrate isotopes
Note that not all samples were analyzed for all parameters.

EPA used temporary or “point-in-time” groundwater sampling techniques with the goal of characterizing the nature and extent of pollutants in groundwater. This information can be used to identify potential sources of groundwater pollutants and potential impacts to drinking water sources.

The borings were located in a grid network designed to characterize groundwater conditions upgradient and downgradient of potential sources of well contamination.  Samples were collected at two depths to better characterize the extent of potential nitrate contamination in the aquifer.

EPA continues to evaluate data collected during the April 30 to May 3, 2018, sampling event.  EPA will coordinate further with Wisconsin DNR to determine the appropriate next steps to protect public health.

Documents

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow. A lot of bad things in drinking water. I wonder what that does to their property values?

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:54

Since it impacts the wells across a wide area, it does not have an obvious impact on property values. Remember, property values are relative -- if you need or desire living in these communities, the water all has these contaminants and it is not possible to factor the impact of water out.

When family farms bought into chemical agriculture, they sowed the seeds of their own destruction. When everyone spends more on production inputs and everyone increases their outputs, commodity prices fall. This is good for multinational corporations that control what you buy at the grocery store as an oligopoly (see Illusion of Choice: http://www.visualcapitalist.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/consumer-brands-full-size.html

Most of America grew up with the propaganda that farmers are the source of everything good and godly in America. In fact, the relationship between urban areas and farmers was always symbiotic -- sure, city folk need food, but family farms needed urban markets for their commodities. West of the Mississippi River, however, agriculture was never really about the family farms that once existed across Wisconsin, the Midwest, and East.

Agriculture in California, the nation's largest food producer, was always large corporate farms.

Nitrogen/nitrites in these levels in rural Wisconsin come exclusively from chemical fertilizers and animal feces. Don't expect anyone in Wisconsin to address this issue, as we still largely live in the lie of "family farms" that increasingly are becoming extinct here. Some used to proclaim that we would run out of food if family farmers went out of business and that this is why we should support them, but corporate mono-culture agriculture is more efficiently done by corporate farms and not family farms.

While there once was a progressive tradition across farmers, they bought into the lie that they were indispensable and that they stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the multinational corporations that the republican party stands for. They don't accept this is not true until they lose the farm (and many are too emotionally bound to right-wing politics to admit the truth).

Nothing does more to undermine family farms than republican policies. The growing problem with nitrates in water is a result of this foolishness.

Anonymous said...

Is the Central Sands of Wisconsin the next Flint? That is question we need to ask ourselves. Are we willing to put economic gain by one of the largest corporations in WI above the needs of the families who live and work in the area and who have lived and worked in the area long before this corporation brought dairy to the area?