Protecting Wisconsin's Groundwater Through Comprehensive Planning
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  Buffalo County
  This report provides the most current information and data found, as of May 2007, unless otherwise noted.
  Buffalo County groundwater findings reports Buffalo County full report Switch to Buffalo 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. Buffalo County has 5 municipal water systems.  Table showing water systems in Buffalo County

GROUNDWATER PROTECTION POLICIES   Table showing water systems in Buffalo County

  • 1 of 5 municipal water systems in Buffalo County has a wellhead protection plan: Mondovi.
  • 1 of 5 municipal water systems in Buffalo County has a wellhead protection ordinance: Mondovi.
  • Buffalo County has adopted an animal waste management ordinance.


  • Over $4 million have been spent on petroleum cleanup in Buffalo County from leaking underground storage tanks, which equates to $300 per county resident.
  • No municipal water systems in Buffalo County has spent money to reduce nitrate levels.

GROUNDWATER USE    Water use figure

  • From 1979 to 2005, total water use in Buffalo County has increased from about 3.0 million gallons per day to 7.3 million gallons per day in 2000 and decreased to 5 million gallons per day in 2005.*
  • The increase by 2000 and decrease in 2005 in total water use over this period is due to irrigation use. Fluctuations of more and less usage are seen in the other categories between reporting periods.
  • The proportion of county water use supplied by groundwater has fluctuated from 98% to 95% over this period.*
  • 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 Buffalo County can be seen in the FULL REPORT or accessed through the map link above.


  • 90% of 184 private well samples collected in Buffalo County from 1990-2006 met the health-based drinking water limit for nitrate-nitrogen.   Nitrate map
  • A 2002 study estimated that 52% of private drinking water wells in the region of Wisconsin that includes Buffalo 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 Buffalo County.
  • 100% of 6 private well samples collected in Buffalo County met the health standard for arsenic.


  • There are 17 open-status sites in Buffalo County that have contaminated groundwater and/or soil. These sites include 7 Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) sites, 6 Environmental Repair (ERP) sites and 4 spill sites.   BRRTS map
  • There are 2 concentrated animal feeding operations in Buffalo County.
  • There are 2 licensed landfills in Buffalo County.
  • There are no Superfund sites in Buffalo County.

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Buffalo County full report Buffalo 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 15, 2008