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Resources 2015, 4(3), 655-672; doi:10.3390/resources4030655

Groundwater Quality Changes in a Karst Aquifer of Northeastern Wisconsin, USA: Reduction of Brown Water Incidence and Bacterial Contamination Resulting from Implementation of Regional Task Force Recommendations

1
University of Wisconsin-Extension Environmental Resources Center, 1150 Bellevue St, Green Bay, WI 54302, USA
2
University of Wisconsin-Extension, 206 Court Street, Chilton WI 53014, USA
3
University of Wisconsin-Extension Environmental Resources Center, 445 Henry Mall, Madison, WI 53706, USA
4
Department of Natural & Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Green Bay, WI 54311, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Damien Giurco
Received: 16 April 2015 / Revised: 12 August 2015 / Accepted: 19 August 2015 / Published: 27 August 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Quantity and Quality)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1360 KB, uploaded 27 August 2015]   |  

Abstract

In the Silurian Dolostone region of eastern Wisconsin, the combination of thin soils and waste application (animal manure, organic waste) has led to significant groundwater contamination, including Brown Water Incidents (BWIs—contamination resulting in a color or odor change in well water) and detections of pathogen indicator bacteria such as E. coli and others. In response, a Karst Task Force (KTF) was convened to identify risks and recommend solutions. This article looks at the impact eight years after the 2007 Karst Task Force report—both the actions taken by local resource managers and the changes to water quality. We present the first regional analysis of the 2007 Karst Task Force report and subsequent regulatory changes to determine if these regulations impacted the prevalence of wells contaminated with animal waste and the frequency of BWIs. While all of the counties in the KTF area promoted increased awareness, landowner/manager and waste applicator education alone did not result in a drop in BWIs or other water quality improvements. The two counties in the study that adopted winter manure spreading restrictions on frozen or snow-covered ground showed statistically significant reductions in the instances of BWIs and other well water quality problems. View Full-Text
Keywords: Silurian aquifer; karst task force; Wisconsin; karst; animal waste; manure; well contamination; regulations Silurian aquifer; karst task force; Wisconsin; karst; animal waste; manure; well contamination; regulations
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Erb, K.; Ronk, E.; Koundinya, V.; Luczaj, J. Groundwater Quality Changes in a Karst Aquifer of Northeastern Wisconsin, USA: Reduction of Brown Water Incidence and Bacterial Contamination Resulting from Implementation of Regional Task Force Recommendations. Resources 2015, 4, 655-672.

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