A priority in Kewaunee County is to protect groundwater, in particular where karst geology and groundwater can be directly linked to activities on the land’s surface. Annual well testing is one way educate landowners and to ensure access to clean drinking water.
Annual well testing programs not only assist the county in determining the percentage of unsafe wells or priority areas, but they also provide landowners with the information and resources regarding their own well water quality. Kewaunee County has offered voluntary testing since 2004, but increased prices have deterred people from testing.
In 2018, the Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources developed a targeted performance standard to address groundwater quality concerns in areas of the county underlain by Silurian Dolomite bedrock, characterized by fractures and direct conduits to the groundwater aquifer, which nearly 70% of the county’s citizens rely on for drinking water. Continuing annual well testing is essential to determining if any progress has been made since implementing the new Silurian standard.
With the funds from the WI Coastal Management Program, Kewaunee County LWCD tested 600 wells. They targeted wells that were less than 20 feet to bedrock and wells that had never been tested. Their office will determine percent contamination rates classified by depth to bedrock in three categories: 0-5’, 5-20’ and over 20,’ similar to a previous study funded by DNR.
Gov. Tony Evers presented the check to Kewaunee County on “Imagine a Day Without Water,” a day dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of clean water access.