Protecting Wisconsin's Groundwater Through Comprehensive Planning
Image of checksLearn more about groundwaterIntegrate groundwater into your planFind data and polices in your areaBrowse for resourcesChecks

 Find data and policies in your area
  Lafayette County
  This report provides the most current information and data found, as of May 2007, unless otherwise noted.
  Lafayette County groundwater findings reports Lafayette County full report Switch to Lafayette 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. Lafayette County has 9 municipal water systems.  Table showing water systems in Lafayette County

GROUNDWATER PROTECTION POLICIES   Table showing water systems in Lafayette County

  • 4 of 9 municipal water systems in Lafayette County have a wellhead protection plan: Argyle, Benton, Darlington and Shullsburg.
  • 1 of 9 municipal water systems in Lafayette County has a wellhead protection ordinance: Benton.
  • Lafayette County has adopted an animal waste management ordinance.


  • Over $7 million has been spent on petroleum cleanup in Lafayette County from leaking underground storage tanks, which equates to $434 per county resident.
  • No municipal water systems in Lafayette County have spent money to reduce nitrate levels.

GROUNDWATER USE    Water use figure

  • From 1979 to 2005, total water use in Lafayette County has decreased from about 4.1 million gallons per day to 3.1 million gallons per day.*
  • The decrease in total water use is due to primarily to decreases in domestic use as well as public use and losses.
  • The proportion of county water use supplied by groundwater has been consistently above about 95% during the period 1979 to 2000 and 91% 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 Lafayette County can be seen in the FULL REPORT or accessed through the map link above.


  • 85% of 600 private well samples collected in Lafayette County from 1990-2006 met the health-based drinking water limit for nitrate-nitrogen.   Nitrate map
  • A 2002 study estimated that 43% of private drinking water wells in the region of Wisconsin that includes Lafayette 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
  • 20,342 acres of land in Lafayette County are in atrazine prohibition areas. Map showing atrazine prohibition areas in Lafayette County
  • 94% of 17 private well samples collected in Lafayette County met the health standard for arsenic.


  • There are 32 open-status sites in Lafayette County that have contaminated groundwater and/or soil. These sites include 18 Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) sites, 13 Environmental Repair (ERP) sites and 1 spill site.  BRRTS map
  • There are 3 concentrated animal feeding operations in Lafayette County.
  • There are no licensed landfills in Lafayette County.
  • There are no Superfund sites in Lafayette County.

return to top

Lafayette County full report Lafayette 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