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Free well testing aids study

The Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Department is doing a five-year checkup on the area following a water quality study performed by United States Department of Agriculture microbiologist Dr. Mark Borchardt. Thanks to a Wisconsin Coastal Management Grant and a donation from Peninsula Pride Farms, the county is testing 300 homes for free in July to test the quality of their well water for bacteria and other sources of contamination. The hope is the test results will also give county officials a chance to see if new NR-151 rules impacting manure spreading and other risk mitigation strategies have been working. The NR-151 rules were recently changed to include areas like Kewaunee and Door counties that have thin soils above fractured bedrock due to the Niagara Escarpment.  County conservationist and department director Davina Bonness says a lot has changed in the area since Borchardt first presented his data to the public back in 2017.

Borchardt’s research found a high percentage of homes in Kewaunee County at the time had unsafe wells due to contamination due to improper manure spreading and failing septic systems.  The free well testing kits can be reserved through the Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Department before the July 6th and 7th pick-up dates. Boness stressed that the results will be confidential and the data will be publically shared in a way that does not identify the individual homes or businesses.



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