News and Events

Updates to DNR’s Well Driller Viewer

DNR has made several updates to the internet-based Well Driller Viewer in response to suggestions from well drillers and other users.

  1. Well Construction Reports – When you click on a dot for a private well, or use the “Identify” button, a pop-up box provides some key well information, including the well address, well depth, casing depth and static water level.
  2. Municipality/County – Now when you click “Identify” anywhere, the municipality and county names pop up. 
  3. Groundwater Protection Features – New data layers are available to assist drillers planning a high capacity well, including trout streams, surveyed springs and outstanding/exceptional resource waters. 

Stay tuned for future releases of the Well Driller Viewer, with more updates and enhancements based on user suggestions. The Well Driller Viewer helps well and heat exchange professionals to plan construction projects and meet regulatory requirements by providing a map view of contaminated sites, special well casing areas, dual aquifers and landfill buffers, along with private well construction reports.  Zoom in and click on the map where you plan to construct a project, and you’ll learn when certain approvals or variances are needed and get links to more information.

You can access the Well Driller Viewer from your computer, tablet, or smartphone. Follow the instructions on-screen or these How to Use the Well Driller Viewer instructions to get started, and send us your input and suggestions using the “Feedback” button in the viewer.

July 2018 Water Well Journal Now Available Online

This issue focuses on well rehabilitation and has multiple feature stories on the subject, including one that covers what to do when difficult wells require extra attention. Click here to view.


Household Water Well
Program Loan Fact Sheet

View the loan fact sheet below if you need financial assistance for your home’s water systems.

As National Prescription Drug Take Back Day approaches this weekend (April 28), NGWA thought it was a great opportunity to use this month’s tip sheet to stress the importance of groundwater protection and water testing for private well owners.

 According to the Associated Press, tests have detected small concentrations of pharmaceuticals in the drinking water supply of 41 million Americans, making this a public health issue of growing concern. Pharmaceuticals enter the water supply via human waste, through medications that are flushed down the toilet, and through agricultural run off at landfills. While a large percentage of medications wind up in septic systems, wastewater treatment plants can’t effectively filter all traces of the drugs, allowing the contaminants to eventually infiltrate groundwater.

 Any hazardous substance—if spilled on the ground, leaked underground, or poured down an abandoned well or borehole—can infiltrate groundwater, the drinking water source for nearly 35 million Americans using privately owned water wells. As a private well owner, you are the manager of your water system. Your practices as a property owner can directly impact your water quality or that of other well owners in the area.

So how can you help protect your water system from pharmaceuticals? Our partners at the Prevention Action Alliance suggest the following:

  • If you choose to throw the drugs in the garbage, put them in something resealable (like a Ziploc® bag) to prevent leaking.
  • Instead of flushing, use one of several drug drop boxes in police departments and other locations where consumers can safely dispose of all medications. These locations can be found on the FDA’s, states’ attorneys general, or local law enforcement’s websites.
  • Utilize mail-back programs and disposal kiosks at certain, local pharmacies.

As always, if you want to be certain your water is potable, NGWA suggests having your system tested annually for various contaminants. For information on testing, including how to find certified testing labs, county health departments, and how to read your home test results, please check the water testing page on WellOwner.org.

For additional details on how to protect the resource of groundwater, please check the “protecting your groundwater supply” section on our groundwater protection page.

Have a great weekend, and don’t forget to dispose of those prescription drugs safely on the 28th!

Updates from Wisconsin DNR

(April 24, 2018) Revised versions of two NR 812 variance application forms are now available. DNR has updated the forms to help well owners and contractors understand how to apply, and provide all the information that’s needed for DNR staff to evaluate the application. Each form also has new instructions to describe how to complete the form.

You can find the updated forms and associated instructions here:

Form 3300-210 Application for Variance

Form 3300-209 Application for a Landfill Variance

or in the “Required Forms” section of DNR’s Driller/Pump Installer Web Page. Please use these updated forms for all future applications.

You can use the new Well Driller Viewer to assist you and your customers when completing a variance application. The Well Driller Viewer can help you evaluate a proposed well location relative to landfill boundaries, special well casing depth areas, dual aquifer areas and active and closed remediation sites. You can also create and print maps, and identify the GPS coordinates for new or existing wells. Try it soon!

Hintzke Well Drilling Volunteers Water Tanks during Snow Crisis

(April 19, 2018 ) WWWA Vice President Jason Hintzke and his brothers of Hinzke Well Drilling, have been working tirelessly with their local fire departments to help remove snow from atop dairy barn roofs. The weight of the snow has cause some roofs to collapse and kill/trap the cattle below. For three days, the brothers have been hauling water with their tank trucks while the fire departments use their hoses to clear the snow atop the barns.

Updates from Wisconsin DNR

(April 2018)

Revised versions of two NR 812 variance application forms are now available. DNR has updated the forms to help well owners and contractors understand how to apply, and provide all the information that’s needed for DNR staff to evaluate the application. Each form also has new instructions to describe how to complete the form.

You can find the updated forms and associated instructions here:

Form 3300-210 Application for Variance

Form 3300-209 Application for a Landfill Variance

or in the “Required Forms” section of DNR’s Driller/Pump Installer Web Page.
Please use these updated forms for all future applications.

(March 2018)

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (department) has published proposed guidance related to the replacement, reconstruction and transfer of approved high capacity wells under 2017 Wisconsin Act 10 (Act). The proposed guidance was developed to help department staff, well drillers, and property owners understand and consistently apply the requirements under the new Act. The Act took effect on June 5, 2017, and created and amended several statutes pertaining to replacement, reconstruction, and transfer of previously approved high capacity wells. The new law allows well owners to conduct these activities without WDNR approval, provided the statutory criteria are met.

The proposed guidance can be viewed at http://dnr.wi.gov/news/input/documents/guidance/HighCapacityWellsUnder2017WisconsinAct10.pdf

The department is soliciting public comments on the proposed high capacity well guidance through April 6, 2018. All comments related to the proposed guidance can be sent to Chris Fuchsteiner (Christopher.Fuchsteiner@Wisconsin.gov).

For questions regarding the proposed guidance or the department’s high capacity wells program, please contact the department’s Water Use Section at 608-266-2299 or visit https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/Wells/HighCap/

(February 2018)

Last year DNR revised Forms 3300-077 and 3300-077A, the multi-ply paper forms used for Well Construction Report and related First Water Quality Test. Many of you are already using the new form, which has a revision date of 3/17.

DNR is phasing out older paper forms because they do not include all the current NR 812 requirements. If you still have old paper forms, please plan to use them in the next few weeks or discard them. Now is a good time to catch up and submit any outstanding reports.

Effective April 1, 2018, DNR will only accept paper Well Construction Report forms with revision date 3/17, and will not accept reports submitted on older forms.

To request new paper forms, please contact Deb Lyons-Roehl by email, or call her at (608) 267-9350. And watch for news about an optional online system for submitting well construction reports, which will be available in mid-2018.

(January 2018)

DNR’s new Well Driller Viewer provides a map view of contaminated sites, special well casing areas, dual aquifers and landfill buffers, along with private well construction reports. Zoom in and click on the map where you plan to construct a project, and you’ll learn when certain approvals or variances are needed, and get links to more information.

You can access the Well Driller Viewer from your computer, tablet, or smartphone. Follow the instructions on-screen or these How to Use the Well Driller Viewer instructions to get started.

https://goo.gl/JmtG54

View Past Wisconsin DNR Updates Here

Update from the National Ground Water Association

April 2018 – Due to widespread flooding in several regions of the country last month, our tip sheet focused on the impact of flooding to private well systems, and the various ways to protect your water and your health during an event. While flooding remains a concern, water levels have subsided in many affected locations presenting another opportunity to evaluate the health of your water.

In many situations, heavy volumes of water can contain high concentrations of contaminants that are left behind, potentially in your water system, once floodwaters recede. While NGWA recommends well owners test their water annually, we recommend also doing so after a flood, especially if any of the following issues arise.

Source, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Conditions or nearby activities:

Test for:

Recurring gastrointestinal illness

Coliform bacteria

Household plumbing contains lead

pH, lead, copper

Radon in indoor air or region radon-rich

Radon

Corrosion of pipes, plumbing

Corrosion, pH, lead

Areas of intensive agriculture

Nitrate, pesticides, coliform bacteria

Coal or other mining operations 

Metals, pH, corrosion

Gas drilling operations

Chloride, sodium, barium, strontium

Dump, junkyard, landfill, factory, gas station, or dry-cleaning operation

Volatile organic compounds, total dissolved solids, pH, sulfate, chloride, metals

Odor of gasoline or fuel oil, and close to gas station or buried fuel tanks

Volatile organic compounds

Objectionable taste or smell

Hydrogen sulfide, corrosion, metals

Stained plumbing fixtures, laundry

Iron, copper, manganese

Salty taste and seawater, or a heavily salted roadway

Chloride, total dissolved solids, sodium

Scaly residues, soaps don’t lather

Hardness

Rapid wear of water treatment equipment

pH, corrosion

Water softener needed to treat hardness

Manganese, iron

Water appears cloudy, frothy, or colored

Color, detergents

Don’t know how to find your local health or environmental health department? Not a problem, just click here to find the closest contact. Additionally, to find a water testing lab nearby, following this link. And if all else fails, please contact NGWA any time through our private well owner hotline at (855) 420-9355!



(WESTERVILLE, OH — February 7, 2018)
The National Ground Water Association today announced this year’s National Groundwater Awareness Week (#GWAW2018) will take place March 11-17. An annual observance established to highlight the responsible development, management, and use of groundwater, the event is also a platform to encourage yearly water well testing and well maintenance to prevent waterborne illnesses.

Established in 1999, National Groundwater Awareness Week provides an opportunity for people to learn about the importance of the resource and how it impacts lives. “Approximately 132 million Americans rely on groundwater for drinking water, so, simply put, it makes life possible,” said Aaron Martin, public relations and awareness manager of NGWA. “Additionally, groundwater is used for irrigation, livestock, manufacturing, mining, thermoelectric power, and several additional purposes, making it one of the most widely used and valuable natural resources we have.”

From manmade contaminants such as PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) and naturally occurring ones like arsenic affecting its quality to potential depletion of the resource in India, South Africa, Australia, and the American West, groundwater was an important topic in 2017. NGWA expects much of this narrative to continue throughout 2018, emphasizing the need for increased awareness regarding one this critical natural resource.

Consider the following:

  • Americans use 79.6 billion gallons of groundwater each day.
  • Groundwater is 20 to 30 times larger than all U.S. lakes, streams, and rivers combined.
  • 44 percent of the U.S. population depends on groundwater for its drinking water supply.
  • More than 13.2 million households have their own well, representing 34 million people.

The 2018 theme of “Tend. Test. Treat.” was established to encourage a more holistic approach to sustain an adequate supply of quality groundwater. Testing your water might prompt well inspection and maintenance, and water treatment can mitigate naturally occurring contamination revealed by the test. So, test your water, tend to your well system, then treat the water if necessary.

NGWA encourages every person to be a “groundwater advocate” both during National Groundwater Awareness Week and beyond by protecting and conserving groundwater. Businesses, individuals, educators, students, federal agencies, cities, associations, and everyone in between can share their story through our website or on social media. For downloadable information on the event, including:

  • A social media toolkit
  • Facts about groundwater
  • Event FAQs
  • Logos and graphics
  • Videos

Please visit GroundwaterAwarenessWeek.com or WellOwner.org.

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