Protecting Wisconsin's Groundwater Through Comprehensive Planning
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  Sauk County
  This report provides the most current information and data found, as of May 2007, unless otherwise noted.
  Sauk County groundwater findings reports Sauk County full report Switch to Sauk 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. Sauk County has 16 municipal water systems.  Table showing water systems in Sauk County

GROUNDWATER PROTECTION POLICIES   Table showing water systems in Sauk County

  • 8 of 16 municipal water systems in Sauk County have a wellhead protection plan: La Valle, Lake Delton, Plain, Prairie du Sac, Reedsburg, Sauk City, Spring Green and Wisconsin Dells.
  • 4 of 16 municipal water systems in Sauk County have a wellhead protection ordinance: Lake Delton, Prairie du Sac, Reedsburg and Spring Green.
  • Sauk County has adopted an animal waste management ordinance.


  • Over $21 million has been spent on petroleum cleanup in Sauk County from leaking underground storage tanks, which equates to $367 per county resident.
  • 1 municipal water system in Sauk County has spent money to reduce nitrate levels.

GROUNDWATER USE   Water use figure

  • From 1979 to 2005, total water use in Sauk County has increased from 10.5 million gallons per day to 26.4 million gallons per day.*
  • The increase in total water use over this period is due primarily to increases in industrial, irrigation, commercial and domestic uses. Irrigation use increased significantly over this period while industrial declined slightly after 1995.
  • The proportion of county water use supplied by groundwater has been consistently around 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 Sauk County can be seen in the FULL REPORT or accessed through the map link above.


  • 84% of 1,012 private well samples collected in Sauk 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 Sauk 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
  • 38,704 acres of land in Sauk County are in atrazine prohibition areas. Map showing atrazine prohibition areas in Sauk County
  • 100% of 3 private well samples collected in Sauk County met the health standard for arsenic.


  • There are 49 open-status sites in Sauk County that have contaminated groundwater and/or soil. These sites include 35 Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) sites and 14 Environmental Repair (ERP) sites.   BRRTS map
  • There are 4 concentrated animal feeding operations in Sauk County.
  • There are 4 licensed landfills in Sauk County.
  • There is 1 Superfund site in Sauk County.

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Sauk County full report Sauk 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