Protecting Wisconsin's Groundwater Through Comprehensive Planning
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  Adams County
  This report provides the most current information and data found, as of May 2007, unless otherwise noted.
  Adams County groundwater findings reports Adams County full report Adams County full report Switch to Adams County full report


  • Wisconsin has nearly 11,500 public water systems which meet the daily water needs of about 4 million people. Public water systems that are owned by a community are called municipal water systems. Adams County has 4 municipal water systems.  Table showing water systems in Adams County

GROUNDWATER PROTECTION POLICIES   Table showing water systems in Adams County

  • 2 of 4 municipal water systems in Adams County have a wellhead protection plan: Adams and Rome.
  • 1 of 4 municipal water systems in Adams County has a wellhead protection ordinance: Adams.
  • Adams County has adopted an animal waste management ordinance.


  • Over $5 million have been spent on petroleum cleanup in Adams County from leaking underground storage tanks, which equates to $257 per county resident.
  • 1 municipal water systems in Adams County has spent money to reduce nitrate levels.

GROUNDWATER USE    Water use figure

  • From 1979 to 2005, total water use in Adams County has increased from about 12.5 million gallons per day to 46.0 million gallons per day. *
  • The increase in total water use over this period is due primarily to an increase in irrigation. Notably commercial usage has doubled and domestic usage has increased by 50%.
  • The proportion of county water use supplied by groundwater has been consistently above 99% from 1979 to 2005.*
  • Water use in Wisconsin is generally estimated for the following categories:
    • Domestic
    • Livestock
    • Aquaculture
    • Irrigation
    • Industrial
    • Commercial
    • Public use and losses
    • Thermoelectric or mining*

* Thermoelectric and mining data are not considered in water-use tables or figures on this web site. Thermoelectric-power water use is the amount of water used in the process of generating thermoelectric power. The predominant use of water is as non-contact cooling water to condense the steam created to turn the turbines and generate electricity.



  • Wisconsin has abundant quantities of high-quality groundwater, but once groundwater is contaminated, it's very expensive and often not technically possible to clean.
  • An evaluation of the susceptibility of groundwater to contamination in Adams County can be seen in the FULL REPORT or accessed through the map link above.


  • 91% of 1,007 private well samples collected in Adams County from 1990-2006 met the health-based drinking water limit for nitrate-nitrogen.   Nitrate map
  • A 2002 study estimated that 36% of private drinking water wells in the region of Wisconsin that includes Adams County contained a detectable level of an herbicide or herbicide metabolite. Pesticides occur in groundwater more commonly in agricultural regions, but can occur anywhere pesticides are stored or applied.   Statewide pesticide map
  • 28,817 acres of land in Adams County are in atrazine prohibition areas. Map showing atrazine prohibition areas in Adams County
  • No arsenic data were found for private wells in Adams County.


  • There are 27 open-status sites in Adams County that have contaminated groundwater and/or soil. These sites include 19 Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) sites, 5 Environmental Repair (ERP) sites and 3 spill sites.   BRRTS map
  • There is 1 concentrated animal feeding operation in Adams County.
  • There is 1 licensed landfill in Adams County.
  • There are no Superfund sites in Adams County.

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Adams County full report Adams County full report Adams County full report

For more information about this web site, its contributors, and the data contained herein, click here.

For assistance in comprehensive planning, please contact Lynn Markham, UW-Stevens Point.
For assistance on groundwater, please contact Charles Dunning, USGS.
Page contact: Webmaster, USGS
Page last updated: January 14, 2008