Series: Drinking Water Quality

Drinking water quality varies across in Wisconsin. In communities with public utilities, drinking water is subject to disparate levels of treatment depending on local needs and budget concerns. Nearly one million households get their water from private wells, which depend on property owners for monitoring and treatment. Across the state, many natural processes and human activities can introduce pathogens and chemical contaminants into water supplies. Wherever their drinking water comes from, Wisconsinites can use various resources to better understand and improve its quality.
 
A study of drinking water quality in the southwestern region of the state is finding contamination beyond safe limits in two-fifths of private wells. Wisconsin Geological & Natural History Survey director Ken Bradbury discusses what its research is uncovering.
When longtime city of Milwaukee Health Commissioner Bevan Baker resigned on Jan. 12, it brought renewed attention to the city's broader struggle to address the problem of lead poisoning.
A analysis released in January 2019 shows more than 40 percent of private wells in southwestern Wisconsin failed to meet drinking water standards. Meanwhile, rules implemented in the summer of 2018 attempt to curb groundwater contamination in other parts of the state.
Wisconsin is proud of its water, including the stuff that comes out of the tap. Every year, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources releases an annual report about how the state's public water systems are doing.
Local governments across Wisconsin face an open question of how they'll pay for ongoing lead pipe replacement efforts.
Wisconsin's municipal drinking-water systems have tens of thousands of lead pipes in communities around the state, and there is growing pressure to get rid of them.
Up to 60 percent of sampled wells in a Kewaunee County study contained fecal microbes, many of which are capable of making people and calves sick, two scientists told hundreds of local residents gathered at a public meeting on June 7.
Lead presents a continuing health threat in communities across the U.S., and has lingered in homes and drinking water in Wisconsin.
A Florida State University professor looked to Wisconsin to investigate how climate change might make people more vulnerable to groundwater-borne pathogens in the decades ahead.
More than 180 water fountains in the Milwaukee Public Schools district contained lead levels above EPA standards. There were 12,000 samples done of more than 3,000 water fountains and other water sources in the district's 191 buildings.