Judge throws out industrial well permits scientists said would harm public waters


A Dane County judge has thrown out eight high-capacity well permits the state granted to businesses despite warnings from its own scientists that the heavy water withdrawals would harm vulnerable lakes, streams and drinking water supplies. > Wisconsin State Journal

State scores dairy trifecta — but Wisconsin farmers and residents don’t win


Among the “wins” Wisconsin officials count in the state dairy industry are increased milk production, a perfect string of new CAFO approvals (concentrated animal feeding operations, or “factory farms”), and a doubling of high-capacity wells. But a Kewaunee County Board supervisor asks the farmers if they call these wins. > The Cap Times

Assembly passes plan to help owners of contaminated wells


The Assembly has approved a plan to help replace contaminated wells in places like Kewaunee County, where up to 60 percent of wells contain fecal microbes. The proposal would let municipalities offer low- or no-interest loans to fix or replace wells or septic systems, and increase funding for a replacement grant program. > Wisconsin Public Radio

Walker signs bill easing high-capacity well regulations


Gov. Walker signed a bill Thursday relaxing regulations on high-capacity wells used by vegetable growers, dairies, and other large businesses. State Sen. Mark Miller (D-Monona) says the action “privatizes” water, and environmental critics say the wells can lower levels of bodies of water around the state. > Wisconsin Public Radio

Some private wells under threat from human waste, not just manure contamination


Manure has been blamed for much of the bacteria and viruses that pollute Wisconsin drinking water, but contamination from human waste is a problem, too. Failing septic systems, leaking public sewer pipes and landspreading of septic waste can introduce dangerous pathogens into both rural and urban water systems.  >  Wisconsin Watch

Map: How widespread is private well contamination from manure, and where is it worst?


Between 2007 and 2010, an estimated 18 percent of 3,868 private wells in Wisconsin tested positive for coliform bacteria — an indicator of disease-causing bacteria, viruses or parasites — according to a 2013 study by researchers with the state Department of Health Services. The map in this article lays out where the problem is most concentrated.  >  Wisconsin Watch

Assembly okays bill loosening regulations of high-capacity wells. Walker says he’ll sign.

The state Assembly approved a plan Tuesday night that would loosen regulations on how high-capacity wells could be repaired, reconstructed or transferred to a new owner. It was the last legislative vote in a years-long battle over the proposed changes.  > The Cap Times