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
  Monroe County
  This report provides the most current information and data found, as of May 2007, unless otherwise noted.
  Monroe County groundwater findings reports Monroe County full report Switch to Monroe 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. Monroe County has 8 municipal water systems.  Table showing water systems in Monroe County

GROUNDWATER PROTECTION POLICIES   Table showing water systems in Monroe County

  • 6 of 8 municipal water systems in Monroe County have a wellhead protection plan: Cashton, Norwalk, Oakdale, Tomah, Warrens and Wilton.
  • 4 of 8 municipal water systems in Monroe County have a wellhead protection ordinance: Norwalk, Oakdale, Tomah and Warrens.
  • Monroe County has adopted an animal waste management ordinance.


  • Over $17 million has been spent on petroleum cleanup in Monroe County from leaking underground storage tanks, which equates to $414 per county resident.
  • No municipal water systems in Monroe County have spent money to reduce nitrate levels.

GROUNDWATER USE    Water use figure

  • From 1979 to 2005, total water use in Monroe County has increased from about 6.0 million gallons per day to about 10.1 million gallons per day.*
  • The total water use increased to about 7.4 million gallons per day in 1990 and has declined until 2000 and increased 2005 due to irrigation use. Water use by category has been variable.
  • The proportion of county water use supplied by groundwater has been consistently about 98% 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 Monroe County can be seen in the FULL REPORT or accessed through the map link above.


  • 78% of 294 private well samples collected in Monroe 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 Monroe 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
  • 9,855 acres of land in Monroe County are in atrazine prohibition areas. Map showing atrazine prohibition areas in Monroe County
  • 100% of 10 private well samples collected in Monroe County met the health standard for arsenic.


  • There are 95 open-status sites in Monroe County that have contaminated groundwater and/or soil. These sites include 41 Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) sites, 49 Environmental Repair (ERP) sites and 5 spill sites.   BRRTS map
  • There are 2 concentrated animal feeding operations in Monroe County.
  • There are 1 licensed landfill in Monroe County.
  • There are 2 Superfund sites in Monroe County.

return to top

Monroe County full report Monroe 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