Protecting Wisconsin's Groundwater Through Comprehensive Planning
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  Brown County
  This report provides the most current information and data found, as of May 2007, unless otherwise noted.
  Brown County groundwater findings reports Brown County full report Switch to Brown 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. Brown County has 18 municipal water systems.  Table showing water systems in Brown County

GROUNDWATER PROTECTION POLICIES   Table showing water systems in Brown County

  • 7 of 18 municipal water systems in Brown County have a wellhead protection plan: Ashwaubenon, Bellevue, Hobart, Lawrence, Ledgeview, Suamico and Wrightstown.
  • 6 of 18 municipal water systems in Brown County have a wellhead protection ordinance: Bellevue, Hobart, Lawrence, Ledgeview, Suamico and Wrightstown.
  • Brown County has adopted an animal waste management ordinance.


  • Over $57 million have been spent on petroleum cleanup in Brown County from leaking underground storage tanks, which equates to $238 per county resident.
  • No municipal water systems in Brown County has spent money to reduce nitrate levels.

GROUNDWATER USE    Water use figure

  • From 1979 to 2005, total water use in Brown County has increased from about 91.0 million gallons per day to 106.0 million gallons per day. *
  • The increase in total water use over this period is due to a usage increase in all categories, except for public use and losses and domestic, which have decreased slightly.
  • The proportion of county water use supplied by groundwater has been consistently between about 13% and 19% 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 Brown County can be seen in the FULL REPORT or accessed through the map link above.


  • 92% of 365 private well samples collected in Brown County from 1990-2006 met the health-based drinking water limit for nitrate-nitrogen.   Nitrate map
  • A 2002 study estimated that 33% of private drinking water wells in the region of Wisconsin that includes Brown 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
  • 5,999 acres of land in Brown County are in atrazine prohibition areas. Map showing atrazine prohibition areas in Brown County
  • 74% of 126 private well samples collected in Brown County met the health standard for arsenic.


  • There are 130 open-status sites in Brown County that have contaminated groundwater and/or soil. These sites include 34 Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) sites, 85 Environmental Repair (ERP) sites, 7 spill sites and 4 Voluntary Party Liability Exemptions (VPLE) sites.  BRRTS map
  • There are 12 concentrated animal feeding operations in Brown County.
  • There are 2 licensed landfills in Brown County.
  • There is 1 Superfund site in Brown 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 14, 2008