Drinking Water Quality In The Tomorrow River Valley: What the Nelsonville Story Can Tell Us

 On October 3 at 6 p.m. at the Jensen Center in Amherst, Tomorrow River Chautauqua will host a public information program explaining results from recent well testing in the Village of Nelsonville and the implications for the broader Tomorrow River Valley.

 The 2018-2019 a Portage County Private Well Sampling Project was conducted in the Village of Nelsonville in two phases, funded by a grant provided by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. The first phase in November 2018, found that 25 wells out of the 60 tested (47 percent) had nitrate levels above current safe drinking standards (10 milligrams/Liter [mg/L] as nitrate-nitrogen). The second phase, conducted in February 2019, retested the 25 wells exceeding health standards, identifying trace elements that help identify the probable sources of the nitrates detected. That test data, compiled by the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) Water Lab, was released by county officials early this spring in a public meeting in Nelsonville.

Sampling and source data have been further analyzed by a professional hydro geologist and that information will be presented as part of the program. The evening will also include brief presentations by specialists on nitrate health concerns, the dynamics of groundwater movement and a summary of current knowledge about nitrate sources. A panel discussion will follow, giving attendees an opportunity to ask questions directly to researchers and to help clarify implications of the data.

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