March 22, 2023
Dear Jefferson County Town, Village, and City Officials:
I am writing to inform you that some of the citizens in your area will be asked to participate in an important county-wide project.
The Jefferson County Land and Water Conservation Department, in collaboration with the Health Department and Planning a
nd Zoning Department, worked with the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point to design a study of the groundwater in Jefferson County. The purpose of the study is to collect data on a variety of important well water concerns in order to better understand the quality of the groundwater throughout the County. In addition, a component of the study is to educate well water owners about the importance of well sampling and taking steps to protect their drinking water.
The participation of private well owners is a critical to accomplishing the study. By the end of March, some Jefferson County citizens will be receiving a letter inviting them to participate by sampling their well water. The locations were chosen to obtain a good representation of wells from various soils, geology, land use, and other factors that can influence water quality. Due to this scientific selection of well locations, only those receiving a letter will be able to participate in the study. Participation in the study is free and it is important to note that personal information of participants will not be collected or shared.
Those citizens agreeing to participate in the study will be mailed all necessary materials. Sample collection will be done by the participants and will only require a few minutes. When completed, the sample bottle can be returned using a pre-paid mailer. All participants will receive a copy of the test results as well as interpretive information once the inventory is complete. Following the completion of the study in 2024, an informational session will be held with a University of Stevens Point water quality specialist to explain the results.
The well water samples will be analyzed for the following constituents: nitrate-nitrogen, chloride, pH, hardness, conductivity, alkalinity, arsenic, lead, copper, calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, sulfate, phosphorus, zinc, iron, and manganese. Some tests are important to health, while others measure things like the hardness or corrosivity of the water.
Based on previous testing in Jefferson County, it is expected that the majority of wells will not indicate any health-related concerns. In the event results indicate a concern, educational information will be provided with the test results to explain the steps that could be implemented to improve the water quality of the drinking water. Please note that participants will not be required to take any additional actions as a result of submitting a sample.
Jefferson County Land and Water Conservation Department
Courthouse, 311 S Center Avenue
Jefferson, WI 53549-1701
For more information on this project, please contact Patricia Cicero, Director of the Jefferson County Land and Water Conservation Department, at 920-674-7121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.