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

GROUNDWATER PROTECTION POLICIES   Table showing water systems in Jefferson County

  • 5 of 7 municipal water systems in Jefferson County have a wellhead protection plan: Jefferson, Johnson Creek, Lake Mills, Waterloo and Watertown.
  • 3 of 7 municipal water systems in Jefferson County have a wellhead protection ordinance: Johnson Creek, Lake Mills and Watertown.
  • Jefferson County has adopted an animal waste management ordinance.


  • Over $23 million has been spent on petroleum cleanup in Jefferson County from leaking underground storage tanks, which equates to $295 per county resident.
  • No municipal water systems in Jefferson County have spent money to reduce nitrate levels.

GROUNDWATER USE    Water use figure

  • From 1979 to 2005, total water use in Jefferson County has increased from about 16.0 million gallons per day to 28.1 million gallons per day.*
  • The increase in total water use is due to increases in all categories, but most notably aquaculture and irrigation uses.
  • The proportion of county water use supplied by groundwater has been consistently 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 Jefferson County can be seen in the FULL REPORT or accessed through the map link above.


  • 93% of 613 private well samples collected in Jefferson County from 1990-2006 met the health-based drinking water limit for nitrate-nitrogen.   Nitrate map
  • A 2002 study estimated that 62% of private drinking water wells in the region of Wisconsin that includes Jefferson 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 Jefferson County.
  • 89% of 19 private well samples collected in Jefferson County met the health standard for arsenic.


  • There are 70 open-status sites in Jefferson County that have contaminated groundwater and/or soil. These sites include 44 Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) sites, 22 Environmental Repair (ERP) sites, 2 spill sites and 2 Voluntary Party Liability Exemption (VPLE) sites.  BRRTS map
  • There are 7 concentrated animal feeding operations in Jefferson County.
  • There is 1 licensed landfill in Jefferson County.
  • There are no Superfund sites in Jefferson County.

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Jefferson County full report Jefferson 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