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La Crosse County debates ways to clean up groundwater

Brad Williams

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It’s a dilemma for the future of La Crosse County.

The area wants agriculture to help the economy, but raising animals can increase groundwater pollution.

Remedies for pollution are being discussed by the county board, with county officials noting that nitrates have been found in wells in most townships around the county.

Supervisor Mike Giese says the county can’t wait much longer to do something.

“We are at the point of action,” Giese said. “If the status quo continues, we’re going to have a serious diminution of the quality of life and the health of our community.”

Other board members have talked about zoning restrictions on large feedlots, or looking at connecting rural homeowners to existing municipal water systems.

The county board heard a report on groundwater conditions, referring to a study two years ago, in which 31 percent of the wells sampled had an elevated level of nitrates in the water.