WISCONSIN - Wisconsin keeps high standards for clean drinking water. On a yearly basis, they do a good job at meeting that standard, but during 2013, more water supplies were found with one of two contaminants.
One contaminant, nitrate was found in more than double the amount of water supplies during the year compared to 2012. The 56 public water supplies found with high nitrate levels is a small number out of the thousands of water supplies in the state, but it can still be a big problem.
"There was some carry over nitrates in soil due to the drought conditions that existed in 2012. And then when we received normal rain conditions in 2013, that then leached that out of the soil and made it down to ground water," said Mark Pauli, a DNR Drinking Water Field Supervisor.
Nitrate is most commonly found in high agricultural areas that use fertilizer. The other contaminant was bacteria. Less than 5 percent of public water supplies had this but it is the most common.
"Bacteria can be pervasive in a system and so you have to go through some type of disinfection procedure. Typically we'd ask people in public water systems, they need to hire a license well driller or pump installer to do a complete disinfection," said Pauli.
Any supplier that has bacteria problems will notify the public. That gives people the opportunity to use bottled water instead.
|Story By: Melissa Constanzer