Village jumps at chance to test water for chemicals

Voluntary DNR program allows Fredonia to check for PFAS in wells
By 
LINDA FAUSEL
Ozaukee Press staff

When Wisconsin announces new drinking water standards for two human-made chemicals later this year, the Village of Fredonia will be ready.

Director of Public Works Roger Strohm initiated well water testing after receiving an email sent by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

In an effort to provide access to safe drinking water, the DNR  launched a new, voluntary program for communities interested in learning whether their municipal water supply is impacted by per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

PFAS are human-made chemicals used in common products such as stain-resistant fabrics, fast-food packaging, nonstick cookware and more. The substances persist in the environment and the human body, according to the DNR.

Strohm said he contacted the DNR, and the village’s first well was tested in June.

“There was no detection of contamination,” Strohm said.

The village’s second well could not be tested at the same time since one pump wasn’t working, but it will be tested soon, Strohm said.

“I’m trying to arrange a time slot to have the second well tested,” he said. “They are busy with all the municipalities right now, but it should happen in the next two months.”

A DNR fact sheet shows PFAS may cause some cancers, thyroid and heart issues, infertility, low birth rates and developmental delays.

The DNR and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services recommend a limit of 20 parts per trillion for drinking water,  according to Sarah Hoye, DNR communications director.

The Wisconsin PFAS Action Council recommended sampling of municipal drinking water systems in the Wisconsin PFAS Action Plan. Other Midwest states, such as Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota, have sampled or are sampling municipal water supplies.

Strohm said he was happy to learn about the program.

“It’s good to know what we have or don’t have in our water,” he said. “I wanted the village residents to know so we could take action.”

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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