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

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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

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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

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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

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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?

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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

Assembly announces May 2 vote on high-capacity wells bill

A bill relaxing high-capacity well regulations is headed to a vote by the state Assembly next week, pitting conservations who worry that the changes will drain aquafers, streams and lakes against farmers who say they need more water for irrigation.  >  Associated Press / WiscNews