Sep 18, 2014

Wisconsin Town to Encircle Proposed Factory Farm Site with 10 Monitoring Water Wells

Updated - The Town of Saratoga in Wood County in central Wisconsin is a sand-laden recreational area that features tourist attractions located right in the middle of the Wisconsin Central Plain or Golden Sands.

Saratoga residents are revolted by the effort of the Wysocki Family of Companies to stick a massive Concentrated Agricultural Feeding Operation (CAFO) in Saratoga that would directly affect five neighboring counties and fear the CAFO will bleed pathogens in liquid cow manure into water aquifers, trout streams and area lakes.

Protect Wood County and Its Neighbors and Rome and Saratoga Friendly are leading the fight, and the Town of Saratoga stands together with these citizens groups as citizens watch property values in neighboring Adams County plummet 20 percent and property values in Wood County remain stagnant.

Wysocki's sock puppet, State Rep. Scot Krug (R-Nekoosa), came under such political heat running for reelection that he had to flip/flop and express opposition to the CAFO (73 days before Election Day) though reportedly Krug was told by Assembly Speaker Robin Voss that James Wysocki, owner and chief financial officer of the Wysocki Family of Companies, said that while Krug's statement of opposition went too far for Wysocki's taste, Wysocki was assured by Voss Krug's wink-wink statement would not present a problem while the Republicans controlled the state assembly and the governor's office.

Voss' office refused to confirm or deny the report.

Saratoga resident, Bruce E. Dimick, reports the Saratoga Town Board "unanimously voted to contract for the placement of 10 groundwater monitoring wells that will encircle the proposed Wysocki CAFO in the Town of Saratoga."

By Bruce E. Dimick

At a well-attended Saratoga Town Board Meeting, the Town Board unanimously voted to contract for the placement of 10 groundwater monitoring wells that will encircle the proposed Wysocki CAFO in the Town of Saratoga. All the citizens that spoke, spoke in favor of the proposal with great passion. No citizen or elected official opposed. The citizens emphasized the need to get the well network in this fall so that baseline data can be gathered prior to any activity by the Wysocki organization. This will provide the town and its citizens with solid data for further legal action in the event that the Wysocki organization moves ahead with its plans and the aquifer that all the citizens of Saratoga depend upon is degraded.

This proposal will be put out to bid, but it is expected to cost something in the neighborhood of $60,000 the first year, and considerably less in subsequent years.   The key parameters that will be monitored will include:

  • Determine the soil type and any impervious layers that may or may not exist in the borehole.  This is key data for any mathematical models used to simulate the effect of the CAFO on our aquifer.
  • The shallow wells will vary from 20 to 50 feet depending on location and there will be two deeper wells at 50 - 70 feet.
  • All water samples will be tested for pesticides, herbicides, coliform bacteria, total dissolved solids, total organic nitrogen and ammonia.
  • In addition all samples will be tested for oxygen demand, nitrate nitrogen, chloride and phosphorus.
  • Water depth will be measured every 4 hours automatically.
  • Other tests may be added after an examination of the initial proposal by a committee of knowledgeably citizens and professionals.
It cannot be overly emphasized how significant this action by our town board is. They are definitely looking out for their residents. Wouldn't it be nice if we had this kind of support at the county, state, and national level as well?

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