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Groundwater Awareness Week, March 10-16th 2013
Take the Wisconsin Groundwater Quiz [370KB pdf
Although March 10-16 is officially designated as Groundwater Awareness Week by the National Ground Water Foundation, learning and educating others about groundwater can be done at any time of year. Here are some materials to help.
Seven Ways to Celebrate:
1. Think Trout, Think Groundwater
Celebrate Groundwater Awareness Week by fishing one of Wisconsin's many trout streams. The diagram to the right shows why trout and groundwater go hand in hand.
Early Trout Season Information [WDNR]
- if you go, be sure to check the fishing regulations before venturing out.
2. Test your well
If you have your own well have the water tested. Spring is a great time to test well water, particularly for health related concerns like bacteria and nitrate. A list of certified testing labs and information on what to test for is available on the
WI DNR "What's wrong with my water?" website
WI Well Water Viewer
to learn about private well water quality in your area.
3. Visit one of the 10,851 known springs in Wisconsin
Springs are important areas of focused groundwater discharge. They provide a first glimpse at water that may have been underground for years or even decades. In addition to the scenic beauty they provide, they often harbor unique even endangered species. Take some time this week to visit one of the many springs in Wisconsin, a number of which occur in our state parks or other public lands.
Facts about Wisconsin Springs - WGNHS Website
4. Properly fill and seal an unused well on your property
Wells that are no longer in use represent a direct conduit for pollutants to contaminate the groundwater aquifer. If you have an unused well on your property take steps to ensure that it is abandoned properly and will not contaminate groundwater in the future. Hire a certified well driller to perform the work, your local land conservation department may have cost sharing resources available to assist you with this process.
Answers to your questions on well filling and sealing - WDNR Publication
5. Take steps to reduce your water use
75% of Wisconsin residents rely on groundwater as their primary water supply. Some quick and easy solutions to reduce your water use include buying more efficient appliances, faucets, and toilets. Planting less water intensive landscaping and using rain barrels to collect rainfall for watering the garden can also help to conserve groundwater. Often times reducing water use results in lower water bills and energy savings as well. Lastly, installing a rain garden to collect stormwater before it reaches the storm sewer can actually help to replenish our groundwater resources.
6. Do a spring cleaning of hazardous materials around your home
Old motor oil, unused or old paint/varnish or other cleaning products often build up in and around our homes. Take an opportunity during this week to do a spring cleaning of hazardous materials so that they do not end up contaminating groundwater or surface waters. Dispose of them properly - that means not down the storm sewer and not down your septic system either. Find out where your community prefers that these hazardous wastes be taken to and plan a time to drop them off.
Check with your county health department or land conservation department regarding Clean Sweep opportunities in your community. For a list of chemicals that are often accepted visit the
WI DATCP Clean Sweep website
7. Learn about water quality for your community water supply
If you are on "city" water there's a good chance its groundwater. Ninety-five percent of Wisconsin communities rely on groundwater. Contact your local water utility and ask them for the most recent water quality data or learn about how your community's water supply is protected. Thank them for doing a great job of providing quality drinking water and ask how you can help.
Look up your community water supply's consumer confidence report (CCR) by visiting the
WI DNR Groundwater Retrieval Network website - Consumer Confidence Search.
Additional Groundwater Materials:
Better Homes and Groundwater
[links to WI DNR] - Booklet contains good tips and information for every homeowner to ensure good groundwater quality and quantity.
Answers to Your Questions About Groundwater
[links to WI DNR] - Booklet contains answers to some of the most common questions and misconceptions about groundwater in Wisconsin.
Groundwater Activities for the Classroom:
Wisconsin Groundwater Study Guide
[links to WI DNR] - This award winning study guide contains a variety of lessons that can be used in grades K-12 to help kids better understand groundwater - Wisconsin's Buried Treasure.
Drinking Water and Private Well Resources
What's Wrong with my Water
- [Links to WI DNR] - This website contains information to diagnose water quality problems and find solutions to common concerns.
Improving Private Well Water Quality
[view 300KB pdf] - Brochure that helps private well owners understand the variety of different options available to improve common well water quality problems.
On-site Water Reuse: Using water to its full potential
[links to free download at UW-Extension Learning Store] - water reuse is the next great advance in water conservation because of its tremendous potential to increase water use efficiency.
Celebrate Groundwater Awareness Week_2013.pdf
For additional questions please contact:
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