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DAWS funding is approved by Land Conservation Committee
Crawford County
well water testing

CRAWFORD COUNTY - At their January 12 meeting, the Crawford County Land Conservation Committee Soil and Water Concerns (LCC) voted unanimously to approve full funding for the spring testing for the Driftless Area Water Study.

This means that the LCC will fully fund up to 100 additional well water tests in the spring of 2021. This will be a maximum cost of $5,500, with each test costing $55.

Results of the 89 Fall 2020 tests were reported by County Conservationist Dave Troester:

• 22 of the 89 (25 percent) tests were positive for coliform bacteria, with four of the 22 tests also testing positive for e.Coli. The four tests positive for e.Coli represent 4.5 percent of all tests, which is above the statewide average.

• 18 of the 89 tests showed no presence of nitrate; 32 showed a result of less than two milligrams-per-liter (mg/L); 22 showed a result of between two and five mg/L; 11 showed a result of between five and ten mg/L; and six showed a result of greater than 10 mg/L (seven percent). The federal safe drinking water standard is 10 mg/L or less

Committee member Kim Moret raised the question of whether landowners would have more “skin in the game” if they were responsible for a portion of the cost of the test. Committee member Bob Standorf said that given the first round of testing had been fully funded, perhaps it would make more sense to fully fund the second round. Standorf said that a cost share for any future rounds of testing could be looked at.

The Crawford County Board of Supervisors Finance Committee had previously informed County Conservationist Dave Troester that the county would not pay for the second round of testing, and that he should “try to get the state to pay for it.”

Troester was able to use an existing source of funding in his department to fund the testing program.