Protecting Wisconsin's Groundwater Through Comprehensive Planning
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  Shawano County
  This report Section provides the most current information and data found, as of May 2007, unless otherwise noted.
  Shawano County groundwater findings reports Shawano County full report Switch to Shawano 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. Shawano County has 10 municipal water systems.  Table showing water systems in Shawano County

GROUNDWATER PROTECTION POLICIES   Table showing water systems in Shawano County

  • 5 of 10 municipal water systems in Shawano County have a wellhead protection plan: Bowler, Gresham, Mattoon, Shawano Lake Sanitary District and Shawano.
  • 3 of 10 municipal water systems in Shawano County have a wellhead protection ordinance: Gresham, Mattoon and Shawano.
  • Shawano County has adopted an animal waste management ordinance.


  • Over $14 million has been spent on petroleum cleanup in Shawano County from leaking underground storage tanks, which equates to $362 per county resident.
  • 1 municipal water system in Shawano County has spent money to reduce nitrate levels.

GROUNDWATER USE    Water use figure

  • From 1979 to 2005, total water use in Shawano County has increased from about 6.6 million gallons per day to about 8.5 million gallons per day.*
  • The increase in total water use over this period is due to a increase in industrial use.
  • The proportion of county water use supplied by groundwater has decreased from about 83% to 61% 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 Shawano County can be seen in the FULL REPORT or accessed through the map link above.


  • 92% of 211 private well samples collected in Shawano County from 1990-2006 met the health-based drinking water limit for nitrate-nitrogen.   Nitrate map
  • A 2002 study estimated that 18% of private drinking water wells in the region of Wisconsin that includes Shawano 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 Shawano County.
  • 80% of 60 private well samples collected in Shawano County met the health standard for arsenic.


  • There are 43 open-status sites in Shawano County that have contaminated groundwater and/or soil. These sites include 22 Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) sites, 20 Environmental Repair (ERP) sites and 1 spill site.   BRRTS map
  • There are 5 concentrated animal feeding operations in Shawano County.
  • There is 1 licensed landfill in Shawano County.
  • There are no Superfund sites in Shawano County.

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Shawano County full report Shawano 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