Protecting Wisconsin's Groundwater Through Comprehensive Planning
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  La Crosse County
  This report provides the most current information and data found, as of May 2007, unless otherwise noted.
  La Crosse County groundwater findings reports La Crosse County full report Switch to La Crosse 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. La Crosse County has 11 municipal water systems.  Table showing water systems in La Crosse County

GROUNDWATER PROTECTION POLICIES   Table showing water systems in La Crosse County

  • 4 of 11 municipal water systems in La Crosse County have a wellhead protection plan: Holmen, Onalaska, Rockland and West Salem.
  • 2 of 11 municipal water systems in La Crosse County have a wellhead protection ordinance: Holmen and Onalaska.
  • La Crosse County has adopted an animal waste management ordinance.


  • Over $19 million has been spent on petroleum cleanup in La Crosse County from leaking underground storage tanks, which equates to $177 per county resident.
  • No municipal water systems in La Crosse County have spent money to reduce nitrate levels.

GROUNDWATER USE    Water use figure

  • From 1979 to 2005, total water use in La Crosse County has fluctuated from about 25.4 million gallons per day to 27.8 million gallons per day*.
  • The increase in total water use is due to increases in aquaculture and domestic uses, offsetting declines in other use categories.
  • The proportion of county water use supplied by groundwater has been consistently above 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 La Crosse County can be seen in the FULL REPORT or accessed through the map link above.


  • 77% of 157 private well samples collected in La Crosse 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 La Crosse 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 La Crosse County.
  • 100% of 11 private well samples collected in La Crosse County met the health standard for arsenic.


  • There are 92 open-status sites in La Crosse County that have contaminated groundwater and/or soil. These sites include 29 Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) sites, 48 Environmental Repair (ERP) sites, 14 spill sites and 1 Voluntary Party Liability Exemption (VPLE) site.  BRRTS map
  • There is 1 concentrated animal feeding operation in La Crosse County.
  • There is 1 licensed landfill in La Crosse County.
  • There is 1 Superfund site in La Crosse County.

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La Crosse County full report La Crosse County full report

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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