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Water task force hears comments in La Crosse

Brad Williams

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Water bottles are lined up for use by members of a water quality task force, before a Thursday hearing at UW-La Crosse

Small communities in Wisconsin might need a little help from the state to keep their water clean.

Assistance for rural areas appears to be a key issue for consideration by the Water Quality Task Force, which held a hearing at UW-La Crosse on Thursday.

Andrew Aslesen from the Wisconsin Rural Water Association was the leadoff witness at the hearing, saying many pollution problems from farm chemicals or runoff are beyond the control of small towns.

Nitrates and pesticides are identified as frequent contaminants in Wisconsin water.

Lead and copper from old plumbing systems also are cause for concern.

Aslesen says smaller communities have to balance water management with everything else they do, such as putting up Christmas lights.

Area Assemblyman Tony Kurtz said the same situation exists in Wonewoc, where water issues can occupy many man hours for local officials.

The task force will hold a dozen hearings around the state before issuing a report.

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