Sep 3, 2014

City High-Capacity Well Made Town Water Wells Go Dry, Town May Sue Stevens Point

Updated - Scott Walker made a conscious decision to have the DNR operate in its handing out high capacity water wells like candy at Halloween.

No Republican dissented, certainly not State Rep. Scott Krug (R-Nekoosa) representing part of the Central Sands region of Wisconsin vulnerable to high capacity wells and application of liquid cow manure.

This last Spring when new, even worse high capacity water well legislation would have been killed in the Senate, some in the Assembly felt safe to vote 'No' for the time being amid the tide of rapidly growing pro-water citizen movements, that will likely vote Krug out of his assembly district drawn to elect Republicans.

Kevin Carr of WSAU has a piece out reporting the Town of Hull is considering suing Stevens Point because the City's high capacity water well caused complete water loss for many Town residents.

Reports Carr:

It's known as Well 11; a high capacity well used by the City of Stevens Point. Not long after it first went online in May of 2012, residents in the Town of Hull started noticing some problems.

"Within 6 months or so, people started losing their water supply," Town Chairperson John Holdridge said.

Aaron Heckel is one of the residents who lost nearly all of his water after Well 11 went online.

"We couldn't shower or cook or do anything. The water would just regenerate a little bit throughout the day," Heckel said.

The well is being blamed for lowering the water supply. Town records show that since the well was first used, almost 40 residents have either been forced to drill new, deeper wells, or experience water pressure issues. Those who chose to replace their wells say it wasn't cheap.

The potential litigation on this two-year-old issue [see Town of Hull Water Issues) follows the new policy instituted in 2011 by Scott Walker's Department of Natural Resources to adopt presumptive approval to high capacity water well applications, as though the Wisconsin aquifers were unlimited in what Walker said is, .

"In a state with about 15,000 lakes and more than a quadrillion gallons of groundwater, it is hard to believe that water could ever be in short supply. Experts say, however, that the burgeoning number of so-called high-capacity wells is drawing down some ground and surface water," reports Kate Prengaman at WisconsinWatch.

Seemingly every week, there is a new story about a river, stream, aquifer or lake being drained or toxify or both.

"The number of these so-called high-capacity wells in Wisconsin has exploded exponentially in recent years due to sprawl, expanding dairy and agricultural operations and dozens of new frac sand mines, note The Political Environment.

Former DNR Secretary George Meyer said the DNR under Scott Walker "has failed to lead the way on studying the health and environmental impacts of rapidly growing industries such as sand mining and the spread of high-capacity water wells." (Verburg, Wisconsin State Journal)

"In Walker’s first year in office he turned the DNR into an 'enterprise agency' with 'increased operating flexibility to enable the agency to improve customer service and business support.' This shifted staff and resources away from monitoring, oversight and compliance with environmental regulations and created the Office of Business Support and Sustainability at a time when two major threats to clean air and water were ramping up: Frac sand mining and massive Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) with thousands of head of livestock," notes Rebecca Kimble in The Progressive Magazine (March 2013).

Hull (population 5,346 ) is adjacent to Stevens Point (population 26,717).

Portage County in central Wisconsin is located where the Northern Highlands region meet the Central Plains or Central Sands region of Wisconsin.

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