$10 million grant will increase Wisconsin access to clean water

Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 10:20 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Governor Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced a new $10 million grant program to support the replacement, reconstruction and treatment of contaminated private wells.

Based on the state’s Well Compensation Grant, it will increase access to clean drinking water. Gov. Evers says that no matter who you are, everyone deserves clean water.

“Whether it’s our kids in our schools, families cooking dinner, or our farmers who depend on conservation, every Wisconsinite deserves access to clean, safe water,” said Gov. Evers.

The current Well Compensation Grant Program contains a number of eligibility requirements that limit the number of individuals that are able to utilize the program, Evers’ Office explained.

The grant will expand eligibility and help the people of Wisconsin by lowering the nitrate threshold for nitrate-contaminated wells from 40 parts per million (ppm) to 10 ppm to comply with the state’s public health standards. It will also allow any source of bacterial contamination that presents a human health risk to be eligible for the program, not just fecal bacteria caused by livestock.

“This money will be available to private well owners who need help dealing with contaminated groundwater, and DNR is excited to offer this assistance,” said DNR Secretary Preston Cole.

In his 2021-23 biennial budget proposal, Gov. Evers proposed providing $2 million in additional funding over the biennium for the Well Compensation Grant Program. The investment announced Tuesday is said to help fill this gap and provide support for private well owners who would otherwise not be eligible for funding under the current Well Compensation Program’s criteria.

The application to apply for this program opens this fall.

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