Fond du Lac County Groundwater Quality update by DianaHT

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presentation given to the UW-Education, Agriculture, & Recreation Committee of the Fond du Lac County Board.

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									Fond du Lac County
UW-EAR Committee
November 4, 2009




          Update on coordinated efforts
           of county staff working on
                 water quality.
        Groundwater Quality Advisory
                 Council
 April – July 2008
 County Board Supervisors; Town, Village, &
  City representatives; Local Farmers; Ripon
  College;
 UW-Extension, Code Enforcement, Health
  Dept., & Land Conservation
 Charge:
       Learn about the current state of groundwater in
        Fond du Lac County,
       Explore actions the County could take to protect
        our groundwater,
       Make recommendations on these actions to the
        County Board.
    Groundwater Quality Advisory
             Council

Council Priority #1: Routine and systematic
 private well sampling throughout the
 County.

 There is a need to organize data on:
     well location
     well construction
     well abandonment
     sampling results
    Groundwater Quality Advisory
             Council
Council Priority #2: Establish a
 Groundwater Specialist Position for
 Fond du Lac County.

 There is a need for a staff person to:
     Coordinate data collection, public education,
      & other related programming
     Interface with existing resources
     Increase citizens’ access to information
     Decrease response times in urgent water
      quality situations.
    Groundwater Quality Advisory
             Council
Council Priority #3: Public Education

 There is a need for information on:
     Importance of groundwater
     Actions that impact groundwater quality
     Well abandonment
     Ways to minimize contamination (proper well
      maintenance, shared wells, nutrient
      management plans, etc.)
     County geology/geography
     Specific professions which impact water
      quality
 Groundwater Quality Advisory
          Council

Also discussed by the Council:

  Nutrient management & land spreading
  County geological database development
  Incentives for good water quality practices
  Increasing local input on livestock operations
 County Staff w/ water-related
     duties & knowledge
Diane Cappozzo, Health Officer
Gloria Smedema, Lab Director                 Chad Cook,
                                             UWEX Fox &
Spike Clarenbach, Code Enforcement Dept.     Wolf River Basin
Head                                         Educator
Wendy Giese, Non-metallic Mining & septic
system program administrator                 Several DNR
                                             staff
Lynn Mathias, County Conservationist
Becky Wagner, Agronomist
Paul Tollard, Watershed Manager
Terry Dietzel, Land Information Dept. Head
Sam Tobias, Parks & Planning Dept. Head
Mike Rankin, UWEX Crops & Soils Educator
Paul Dyk, UWEX Dairy & Livestock Educator
Diana Hammer Tscheschlok, UWEX Natural
Resources Educator
                       Situation
Fond du Lac County has a unique geological
  foundation which leaves it predisposed to
  groundwater contamination, the source of
        100% of our drinking water.
• 2008 Flood
• E. Coli in T. Byron
• 4th largest number of milking cows in the state
• Estimated 4200 wells that need sealing
• Water rates increasing (quantity)
• Potential for arsenic in certain areas (quantity/quality)
• Limited understanding of well/septic maintenance
• Limited understanding of overall water system
               Inputs

Time
Relationships w/target audiences
Expertise
           Output Examples

Well testing program—targets landowners with wells
Well abandonment ordinance enforcement—targets
landowners with unused/unabandoned wells
Updated “Protect the water you drink” booklet—targets
landowners with wells
Message map—talking points on water quality so county
staff highlight same key points when speaking with
audiences.
Educational insert in septic pumping notices
Nutrient Management Training
Cost Share Programs (well abandonment, etc.)
    Target Audience Examples

Rural property owners
Crop & Livestock producers
Municipal wastewater utilities
Local government officials
Well drillers
Custom haulers (septic, whey, manure, & sludge)
Medical professionals
Realtors
Developers
Landscaping professionals
Short-term Outcome Examples
           (Learner Objective)

Increased knowledge of links between water
quality and land use activities.
Increased understanding of relationship between
surface water and groundwater.
Increased awareness of proper well construction
and maintenance
Increased awareness of septic system
functioning and maintenance requirements
Increased knowledge of impact nitrates have on
groundwater and how land use practices affect.
    Medium-Term Outcomes
           (Action objective)

Residents are annually sampling wells
Land application of biosolids is done with
consideration to water quality impacts
Appropriate actions taken to prevent or
respond to water crises.
Wells are code-compliant
      Long-Term Outcomes
          (Action objective)

Safe drinking well tests
Minimal (or no) long term impact on
aquifers
Wide-spread understanding of connections
between water quality, land use, &
farming practices.
  Measurable Evaluation Ideas

Increasingly safer well tests
Increased website hits
Increased producer knowledge on how to
handle manure
Soil phosphorous levels not increasing
Starter fertilizer phosphorous levels lower
Evaluation Example from Mike
   Rankin & Becky Wagner
Evidence that Nutrient Management
Education Programs are Having an Impact
   Increasing acreage managed by NMP’s
   Levels of P in the soil is stabilizing &
    decreasing as fertilizer application matches
    nutrient need
   Amount of fertilizer used per acre has
    dropped since the mid 80’s.
   Commercial fertilizer prices have increased
               Wrap Up

We will further develop our output and
evaluation plans.
We will begin to track our work and
outcomes in water quality education.
We will keep you apprised of our progress.
Results will not be visible immediately, but
slowly over time.
                                Questions?



                                           THANK YOU!



I understood when I was just a child that without water, everything dies. I didn't understand
until much later that no one "owns" water. It might rise on your property, but it just passes
through. You can use it, and abuse it, but it is not yours to own. It is part of the global
commons, not "property" but part of our life support system.
                                -Marq de Villiers, Water, 2000

								
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