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Bill to require WI DNR to alert owners if it discovered polluted water wells



If the state found a problem with a La Crosse’s water supply, there is a chance the city wouldn’t immediately be notified.

Putting pressure on the Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources to alert people right away if there’s water pollution in the area is the focal point of a bill introduced by two Democratic La Crosse lawmakers, Senator Jennifer Shilling and state rep. Jill Billings.

Billings was surprised to learn that such a statewide notification policy wasn’t already on the books in Wisconsin.

As of now, the DNR isn’t required to tell those owners, or even local government, if well water is polluted or threatened by certain substances. For example, in cases of farm runoff.

“If something happens and that manure, or nitrates from the manure, get in the water system, people should have a notification of that,” Billings said.

The bill is called the Water Pollution Notification Act. Officially it “would require that if the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) finds a violation of a Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit, the DNR must notify the owners of any wells that may be negatively affected by the violation.”

Billings says the plan is getting support from members of both parties.


A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.