Nov 15, 2017

Wisconsin County Protects Groundwater Through Agricultural Waste Regulations

Kewaunee County introduces a new ordinance to protect both groundwater and well water

Wis. County introduces new ordinances

Kewaunee County, Wis., passed an ordinance Nov. 7 titled the “Agricultural Waste and Process Water Irrigation Ordinance” that regulates the application of liquid manure and agricultural wastewater over farm fields. The new ordinance dictates that liquid manure only can be distributed during growing season and must be dispersed in low-pressure methods no more than 18 in. off the ground, as opposed to sprinklers or sprayers. This ordinance is the first ordinance regulating liquid manure to pass in Wisconsin.

The area features karst geology, meaning porous rocks and shallow topsoil, which increases the vulnerability of the groundwater quality. Kewaunee County has faced difficulties with groundwater and well contamination, particularly in areas with shallow bedrock. The members of the County Board, the Land & Water Conservation Committee and the Health Committee hope that the new regulations will help protect the communities groundwater from contamination.