Protecting Wisconsin's Groundwater Through Comprehensive Planning
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  Washington County
  This report provides the most current information and data found, as of May 2007, unless otherwise noted.
  Washington County groundwater findings reports Washington County full report Switch to Washington 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. Washington County has 7 municipal water systems.  Table showing water systems in Washington County

GROUNDWATER PROTECTION POLICIES   Table showing water systems in Washington County

  • 5 of 7 municipal water systems in Washington County have a wellhead protection plan: Germantown, Hartford, Jackson, Kewaskum and Slinger.
  • 3 of 7 municipal water systems in Washington County have a wellhead protection ordinance: Hartford, Jackson and Slinger.
  • Washington County has adopted an animal waste management ordinance.


  • Over $33 million has been spent on petroleum cleanup in Washington County from leaking underground storage tanks, which equates to $263 per county resident.
  • No municipal water systems in Washington County have spent money to reduce nitrate levels.

GROUNDWATER USE    Water use figure

  • From 1979 to 2005, total water use in Washington County has increased from about 9.4 million gallons per day to about 13.4 million gallons per day.*
  • The increase in total water use over this period is due to increases in all use categories through 2000 with an increase in domestic, irrigation and livestock but decreases in industrial, commercial and public use and losses use.
  • The proportion of county water use supplied by groundwater has been consistently at or greater than 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 Washington County can be seen in the FULL REPORT or accessed through the map link above.


  • 97% of 210 private well samples collected in Washington County from 1990-2006 met the health-based drinking water limit for nitrate-nitrogen.   Nitrate map
  • A 2002 study estimated that 21% of private drinking water wells in the region of Wisconsin that includes Washington 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 Washington County.
  • 76% of 49 private well samples collected in Washington County met the health standard for arsenic.


  • There are 191 open-status sites in Washington County that have contaminated groundwater and/or soil. These sites include 48 Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) sites, 49 Environmental Repair (ERP) sites, 89 spill sites and 5 Voluntary Party Liability Exemption (VPLE) sites.   BRRTS map
  • There are 2 concentrated animal feeding operations in Washington County.
  • There are no licensed landfills in Washington County.
  • There are no Superfund sites in Washington County.

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Washington County full report Washington 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