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

GROUNDWATER PROTECTION POLICIES   Table showing water systems in Iron County

  • 1 of 5 municipal water systems in Iron County has a wellhead protection plan: Mercer.
  • 1 of 5 municipal water systems in Iron County has a wellhead protection ordinance: Mercer.
  • Iron County has not adopted an animal waste management ordinance.


  • Over $4 million has been spent on petroleum cleanup in Iron County from leaking underground storage tanks, which equates to $769 per county resident.
  • No municipal water systems in Iron County have spent money to reduce nitrate levels.

GROUNDWATER USE    Water use figure

  • From 1979 to 2005, total water use in Iron County has increased from about 400,000 gallons per day to about 970,000 gallons per day.*
  • The increase in total water use is due primarily to increases in irrigation and public use and losses.
  • The proportion of county water use supplied by groundwater has been consistently 100% for the period 1979 to 2000 and decreased sharply to 56% 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 Iron County can be seen in the FULL REPORT or accessed through the map link above.


  • 100% of 67 private well samples collected in Iron County from 1990-2006 met the health-based drinking water limit for nitrate-nitrogen.   Nitrate map
  • A 2002 study estimated that 18% of private drinking water wells in the region of Wisconsin that includes Iron 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 Iron County.
  • 100% of 1 private well sample collected in Iron County met the health standard for arsenic.


  • There are 23 open-status sites in Iron County that have contaminated groundwater and/or soil. These sites include 19 Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) sites and 4 Environmental Repair (ERP) sites.   BRRTS map
  • There are no concentrated animal feeding operations in Iron County.
  • There are no licensed landfills in Iron County.
  • There are no Superfund sites in Iron County.

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Iron County full report Iron 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