NEWS

Dept. of Natural Resources: Publishes Annual Drinking Water Report

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently published its 2023 Annual Drinking Water Report, showing that more than 99% of the public water systems in Wisconsin met all water quality standards for contaminants.

The 2023 report summarizes compliance with the drinking water requirements and highlights statewide efforts to help public water systems provide a safe and sustainable supply of drinking water.

This impressive scorecard is possible because of the joint efforts between public water system owners and operators, the DNR, and many partners. Additional funding also helped significantly; Wisconsin’s share of federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) funding was more than $155 million in 2023 to ensure safe drinking water, and Gov. Tony Evers invested $10 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to expand on the state’s Well Compensation Grant Program.

Most of the extra funding went toward lead service line replacement and addressing emerging contaminants like manganese and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). By the end of 2023, more than 1,860 Wisconsin public water systems obtained PFAS monitoring test results according to the DNR’s established drinking water standard for two PFAS chemicals.

“We encountered new challenges in 2023 but also had some amazing accomplishments,” said Steve Elmore, DNR Drinking Water and Groundwater Program director. “We had a drought in parts of the state that impacted water quantity, but we provided information and guidance to help those affected areas. We also had a very successful expansion of the state’s Well Compensation Grant Program, thanks to Gov. Evers’ investment of $10 million in ARPA funding, that awarded hundreds of grants to replace, reconstruct or treat contaminated wells at private homes and non-community water systems. We also helped replace more than 1,100 private lead service lines in 17 Wisconsin communities with our Private Lead Service Line Replacement Program.”

You can learn more about these accomplishments by reviewing the 2023 Annual Drinking Water Report on the DNR’s website or by calling 608-266-1054 to request a printed copy. The report webpage also includes the popular interactive map displaying communities awarded funding for projects through the Safe Drinking Water Loan Program and the Private Lead Service Line Replacement Program.

More information about the work the DNR is doing to provide safe drinking water is available on the DNR’s Drinking Water webpage.

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