Protecting Wisconsin's Groundwater Through Comprehensive Planning
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  Dunn County
  This report provides the most current information and data found, as of May 2007, unless otherwise noted.
  Dunn County groundwater findings reports Dunn County full report Switch to Dunn 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. Dunn County has 7 municipal water systems.  Table showing water systems in Dunn County

GROUNDWATER PROTECTION POLICIES   Table showing water systems in Dunn County

  • 2 of 7 municipal water systems in Dunn County have a wellhead protection plan: Boyceville and Downsville.
  • 0 of 7 municipal water systems in Dunn County have a wellhead protection ordinance.
  • Dunn County has adopted an animal waste management ordinance.


  • Over $5 million has been spent on petroleum cleanup in Dunn County from leaking underground storage tanks, which equates to $129 per county resident.
  • No municipal water systems in Dunn County have spent money to reduce nitrate levels.

GROUNDWATER USE  Water use figure

  • From 1979 to 2005, total water use in Dunn County has increased from about 7.7 million gallons per day to about 31.9 million gallons per day.*
  • The increase in total water use over this period is primarily due to irrigation, though industrial use also contributed to the overall increase.
  • The proportion of county water use supplied by groundwater has consistently been about 99% during the period 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 Dunn County can be seen in the FULL REPORT or accessed through the map link above.


  • 88% of 189 private well samples collected in Dunn 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 Dunn 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 Dunn County.
  • 92% of 32 private well samples collected in Dunn County met the health standard for arsenic.


  • There are 38 open-status sites in Dunn County that have contaminated groundwater and/or soil. These sites include 11 Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) sites, 19 Environmental Repair (ERP) sites and 8 spill sites.   BRRTS map
  • There are 2 concentrated animal feeding operations in Dunn County.
  • There are no licensed landfills in Dunn County.
  • There are no Superfund sites in Dunn County.

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Dunn County full report Dunn 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