Protecting Wisconsin's Groundwater Through Comprehensive Planning
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  Burnett County
  This report provides the most current information and data found, as of May 2007, unless otherwise noted.
  Burnett County groundwater findings reports Burnett County full report Switch to Burnett 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. Burnett County has 3 municipal water systems.  Table showing water systems in Burnett County

GROUNDWATER PROTECTION POLICIES   Table showing water systems in Burnett County

  • 3 of 3 municipal water systems in Burnett County have a wellhead protection plan: Grantsburg, Siren and Webster.
  • 1 of 3 municipal water systems in Burnett County has a wellhead protection ordinance: Siren.
  • Burnett County has adopted an animal waste management ordinance.


  • Over $5 million has been spent on petroleum cleanup in Burnett County from leaking underground storage tanks, which equates to $314 per county resident.
  • No municipal water systems in Burnett County has spent money to reduce nitrate levels.

GROUNDWATER USE  Water use figure

  • From 1979 to 2005, total water use in Burnett County has increased from about 1.1 million gallons per day to 2.4 million gallons per day.*
  • The increase in total water use over this period is due primarily to an increase in irrigation and domestic usage. Industrial usage in 2005 has decreased.
  • The proportion of county water use supplied by groundwater has decreased from about 99% to about 82% 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 Burnett County can be seen in the FULL REPORT or accessed through the map link above.


  • 95% of 106 private well samples collected in Burnett County from 1990-2006 met the health-based drinking water limit for nitrate-nitrogen.   Nitrate map
  • A 2002 study estimated that 25% of private drinking water wells in the region of Wisconsin that includes Burnett 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 Burnett County.
  • 100% of 6 private well samples collected in Burnett County met the health standard for arsenic.


  • There are 34 open-status sites in Burnett County that have contaminated groundwater and/or soil. These sites include 13 Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) sites and 21 Environmental Repair (ERP) sites.   BRRTS map
  • There are no concentrated animal feeding operations in Burnett County.
  • There are no licensed landfills in Burnett County.
  • There is 1 Superfund site in Burnett County.

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Burnett County full report Burnett 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