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Posted on: August 6, 2018

Calumet County 2018 Groundwater Report Released

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On May 7, 2018, residents collected 188 samples from 185 wells throughout Calumet County as part of the County’s annual Private Well Testing Day.  Since 2004, the Calumet County Land and Water Conservation Department (LWCD) and the Calumet Groundwater Guardians have sponsored the annual well testing event. The Private Well Testing Day provides an opportunity for residents to sample their drinking water for coliform bacteria, nitrates, and a suite of metals at a reduced cost to homeowners.  A record 200 well owners registered for the event.

The program also serves as a reminder that private wells should be sampled regularly.  Private well owners are encouraged to sample for coliform bacteria and nitrate every 12-15 months.  “Private well owners could think of themselves as mini-water utility personnel,” mentions Dani Santry, Water Resource Specialist for Calumet County. “While public well managers are required to test regularly, a private well owner is responsible for ensuring safe drinking water in the home.” 

The results of the event have been made available in the 2018 Calumet Groundwater Report.  Overall, 32% of the wells were unsafe for either coliform bacteria and/or high nitrate.  Twelve wells tested positive for E.coli, an indicator of fecal waste contamination. “We know areas of the County are susceptible to contamination from surface runoff.” states Mike Hofberger, Land and Water Conservation Committee Chairperson and private well owner.   “It is important for well owners to test often in these areas to understand the quality of their drinking water.”  The report also includes private well data collected in addition to the Private Well Testing Day, including well samples collected from 2004 through June 30, 2018.  More information on groundwater susceptibility, private well testing, and what to do if a well is unsafe can be found at

This year’s Private Well Testing Day targeted private well owners in the towns of Chilton, New Holstein, and Rantoul as well as the Village of Potter. The 2019 program is county-wide, but will target Brothertown, Woodville and Town of Chilton. If you are interested in participating in next year’s program, or sampling your well now, please contact Dani Santry at or (920) 849-1493 x2402. 

The Calumet County Land and Water Conservation Committee invites private well owners to contact committee members with questions, concerns and feedback on groundwater quality in the County.  Committee contact information is listed below.

Mike Hofberger, Chair  920-849-2521
Pat Laughrin  920-989-2002
Merlin Gentz  920-731-1670
Dave La Shay  920-731-1277
Judy Hartl  920-470-4857
Amy Shiplett  920-889-9075

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Calumet County Government
206 Court Street
Chilton, WI 53014

Main Offices
(920) 849-2361
(833) 620-2730
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. M-F