Protecting Wisconsin's Groundwater Through Comprehensive Planning
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  Ashland County
  This report provides the most current information and data found, as of May 2007, unless otherwise noted.
  Ashland County groundwater findings reports Ashland County full report Ashland County full report Switch to Ashland 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. Ashland County has 4 municipal water systems.  Table showing water systems in Ashland County

GROUNDWATER PROTECTION POLICIES   Table showing water systems in Ashland County

  • 1 of 4 municipal water systems in Ashland County has a wellhead protection plan: Butternut.
  • 0 of 4 municipal water systems in Ashland County have a wellhead protection ordinance.
  • Ashland County has not adopted an animal waste management ordinance.


  • Over $8 million have been spent on petroleum cleanup in Ashland County from leaking underground storage tanks, which equates to $514 per county resident.
  • No municipal water systems in Ashland County have spent money to reduce nitrate levels.

GROUNDWATER USE    Water use figure

  • From 1979 to 2004, total water use in Ashland County has increased from just over 3.2 million gallons per day to 4.5 million gallons per day.
  • The increase in total water use over this period is due largely to an increase in industrial use. Commercial usage has decreased by a half.
  • The proportion of county water use supplied by groundwater increased from 22.4% in 1979 to almost 42% in 2000 and decreased to 17.6% in 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 Ashland County can be seen in the FULL REPORT or accessed through the map link above.


  • 100% of 56 private well samples collected in Ashland County from 1990-2006 met the health-based drinking water limit for nitrate-nitrogen.   Nitrate map
  • A 2002 study estimated that 12% of private drinking water wells in the region of Wisconsin that includes Ashland 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
  • There are no atrazine prohibition areas in Ashland County.
  • 100% of 4 private well samples collected in Ashland County met the health standard for arsenic.


  • There are 31 open-status sites in Ashland County that have contaminated groundwater and/or soil. These sites are composed of 18 Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) sites, 12 Environmental Repair (ERP) sites and 1 Voluntary Party Liability Exemption (VPLE) site.   BRRTS map
  • There are no concentrated animal feeding operations in Ashland County.
  • There are no licensed landfills in Ashland County.
  • There is 1 Superfund site in Ashland County.

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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 15, 2008