Q: What can I do as an individual to help protect the groundwater in my community?
A: There are many ways individuals can help to protect our valuable groundwater:
•Use fertilizers and pesticides in a safe and responsible manner. This applies to both home and farm use. Apply at or below recommended application rate, be careful when mixing, and always store and dispose of these materials properly.
•Best management practices (BMPs) have been recommended to help reduce groundwater contamination by pesticides and fertilizers. For more information, check with your agricultural extension agent, the DATCP, or the Nutrient and Pest Management (NPM) program at the University of Wisconsin Madison.
•Use household and automotive products safely. Be careful during use and observe any special requirements for handling during disposal. A number of products should not be washed down the drain or flushed as a method of disposal. Many communities hold Clean Sweep programs to ensure these products are being disposed of properly. Ask your local officials about the availability of a Clean Sweep program in your area.
•Recycle or initiate a recycling program in your community. This reduces the overall waste volume which must be disposed of.
For more information on groundwater protection contact:
Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection 801 W. Badger Road, P.O. Box 8911 Madison, WI 53713 (608) 266-2295
Department of Health and Social Services 1414 E. Washington Ave., Room 96 Madison, WI 53703 (608) 266-1251
Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations 201 E. Washington Ave., Room 141 P.O. Box 7969 Madison, WI 53707 (608) 266-3815
Nutrient and Pest Management Program 1535 Observatory Drive, U. W. Madison Madison, WI 53706 (608) 262-4326
Wisconsin Geological & Natural History Survey 3817 Mineral Point Road Madison, WI 53705 (608) 262-1705