Groundwater Quality Protection in Pepin County

Author

Abigail Becker

Metrics

From 1979 to 2005, the total water use in Pepin County had increased from about 1.2 milliongallons per day to about 3 million gallons used per day (Protecting Groundwater in Wisconsinthrough Comprehensive Planning). This increase in water use is believed to be from irrigationand industrial use. Water use trends in commercial use do not reflect the use in private water, orits quality however. In 2019, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) estimated that 1 in 5(20.1%) private wells exceed the hazardous limit of 10 ppm (parts per million) nitrateconcentration. That percentage places Pepin 3rd highest among 72 counties in Wisconsin. Since2008, Pepin County Land Conservation and Planning Department (LCPD) has also conductedwell sampling tests for nitrate. The average level of nitrate in private wells for the years 1990,2008, 2010, 2015 were 4.24, 4.91, 5.72, and 6.58 mg/L respectively (Protecting Groundwater inWisconsin through Comprehensive Planning). This upward trend is expected to rise with currentfarming practices. Due to these pressing issues, recommendations to improve water quality inPepin County have been made in categories of improved well water quality and testing, septictank testing, identifying areas of high likelihood of contamination, and next steps to take.

View final report final report and pamphlet pamphlet from the Environmental Studies 600/Soil Science 499 Capstone project.

UniverCity Year Contact Info
Gavin Luter
Managing Director
gavin@cows.org
608-261-1141

University Faculty Contact
Steve Ventura
sventura@wisc.edu
Nick Balster

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