Protecting Wisconsin's Groundwater Through Comprehensive Planning
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  Sawyer County
  This report provides the most current information and data found, as of May 2007, unless otherwise noted.
  Sawyer County groundwater findings reports Sawyer County full report Switch to Sawyer 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. Sawyer County has 5 municipal water systems.  Table showing water systems in Sawyer County

GROUNDWATER PROTECTION POLICIES   Table showing water systems in Sawyer County

  • 3 of 5 municipal water systems in Sawyer County have a wellhead protection plan: Hayward, Radisson and Winter.
  • 1 of 5 municipal water systems in Sawyer County has a wellhead protection ordinance: Hayward.
  • Sawyer County has adopted an animal waste management ordinance.


  • Over $8 million has been spent on petroleum cleanup in Sawyer County from leaking underground storage tanks, which equates to $498 per county resident.
  • No municipal water systems in Sawyer County have spent money to reduce nitrate levels.

GROUNDWATER USE    Water use figure

  • From 1979 to 2005, total water use in Sawyer County has increased from about 1.2 million gallons per day to about 2.8 million gallons per day.*
  • The increase in total water use over this period is due to increases in every use category, with domestic decreasing slightly after 2000.
  • The proportion of county water use supplied by groundwater has been consistently greater than 98% during the period 1979 to 1995 then decreased to 84% 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 Sawyer County can be seen in the FULL REPORT or accessed through the map link above.


  • 98% of 141 private well samples collected in Sawyer County from 1990-2006 met the health-based drinking water limit for nitrate-nitrogen.   Nitrate map
  • A 2002 study estimated that 25% of private drinking water wells in the region of Wisconsin that includes Sawyer 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 Sawyer County.
  • 100% of 4 private well samples collected in Sawyer County met the health standard for arsenic.


  • There are 35 open-status sites in Sawyer County that have contaminated groundwater and/or soil. These sites include 26 Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) sites and 9 Environmental Repair (ERP) sites.  BRRTS map
  • There is 1 concentrated animal feeding operation in Sawyer County.
  • There are no licensed landfills in Sawyer County.
  • There are no Superfund sites in Sawyer County.

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Sawyer County full report Sawyer 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