By Paul Schmitt
The Wisconsin DNR is taking action to provide emergency drinking water to residents facing well water contamination from livestock manure. According to a news release from Midwest Environmental Advocates in Madison, the DNR has agreed to use an existing part of Wisconsin’s administrative code- Chapter NR 73- to start providing drinking water to residents who qualify. Midwest Environmental Advocates Staff Attorney Sarah Geers says a petition of federal action was formally requested back in 2014 under the Safe Drinking Water Act.
The DNR proposal calls for supplying emergency drinking water to those experiencing “brown water events” or had a positive E.coli test when it is determined that the contamination cause was from manure. The emergency drinking water will be for six months while DNR staff work with the private well owner to find a permanent solution, including the DNR’s Well Compensation Program.