The state is out with its annual report on our groundwater and two pollutants continue to be present: e coliform bacteria and nitrates.
The Groundwater Coordinating Council Report finds nearly three-fourths of state residents rely on groundwater as their primary source of drinking water.
DNR Groundwater Section Chief Bruce Rheineck says well contamination can come from a variety of sources...
"....Contamination has a wide range of possibilities and we have a really nice website 'what's wrong with my water' that can help you. The root cause is often improper sealing or construction of the well. Sometimes sulpher or iron bacteria can colonize the plumbing in the house itself. It's always good to test your well and go from there...."
Rheineck says nitrate is Wisconsin's most widespread groundwater contaminant. Fertilizers are the most common way nitrate gets into groundwater, but homeowners use fertilizers as well and some nitrate comes from septic systems.
The Northwoods had fewer problems, but some problems were seen in Oneida, Price, Langlade Forest and Florence counties.
Rheineck says frequent testing is a must...
"....once a year we recommend(testing) for bacteria like e coli testing and nitrate testing, or any time you notice a change in the quality or taste or appearance of your water, it's good to get it tested then...."
More information is available at the DNR website and putting in the search box Groundwater Coordinating Council.