Fecal Microbes In 60% of Sampled Wells
Fecal Microbes In 60% of Sampled Wells.
Up to 60 percent of sampled wells in a Kewaunee County study contained fecal microbes, many of which are capable of making people and calves sick, two scientists told hundreds of local residents gathered at a public meeting Wednesday night.The microorganisms included Cryptosporidium, a parasite that comes from both people and animals.
“Obviously we shouldn’t have septic systems if they aren’t working.
The study tested water from 621 of them representing wells with various depths of soil to bedrock.
Seventy-nine of those wells were contaminated by a fecal microorganism — either a virus, parasite or bacteria — 62 of which were linked directly to either bovine or human sources.
Of the 12,200 people using private wells in the county, a projected 140 people per year are infected, as well as 1,700 calves.
“Some people have the money to fix it, but there are many people who can’t even find $500 dollars to put in a treatment system at one faucet,” he said.
Borchardt said when dangerous pathogens were found in private wells during the course of the study, homeowners got phone calls right away to alert them to the results.
The researchers placed autosamplers in three homes to continuously test water quality during periods of recharge.
“Even if the water’s not brown,” Borchardt said, “it doesn’t mean you aren’t drinking contaminated water.” Asked how to solve Kewaunee County’s water problems, Borchardt suggested an expensive fix.