Madison Water Utilities wants you to get involved in protecting wellheads in and around your home, lot, or farming area. Wellhead Protection takes center stage here in Madison; and if you drive on Park St., University Ave. or Whitney Way, you may have noticed a few new road signs.
These signs like in the picture on the right are part of our Wellhead Protection Program, which identifies, manages, and protects land areas that contribute groundwater to the city’s 22 drinking water wells. You may not realize it, but what gets put on the ground – from road salt to fertilizers and pesticides to petroleum products – has the potential to end up in our groundwater and could contaminate our drinking water supply.
City Officials here in Madison say that over the next several years, signs will go up near all 22 wells across the city. Madison Water Utility chose to put the first signs near University and Whitney way because of increasing concerns about road salt use in the area. A municipal water well that sits near the intersection pumps 800 million gallons of drinking water to homes and businesses every year, but it's been showing some signs of contamination because of heavy road salt use.
The utility has joined forces with other agencies and environmental groups to encourage responsible road salt use through the Wisconsin Salt Wise. It All Goes Somewhere and eventually, chemicals and pollutants dumped on the ground will make their way to our aquifer. This is the most important reason why Madison Water Utility has created its ongoing Wellhead Protection Program; to identify specific areas for each of our wells where groundwater contributes to the well water supply. We are working with the City of Madison to establish measures that prohibit or restrict future activities in those zones that could contaminate groundwater.
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