Luxemburg family has clean water, 2 weeks after well contamination

By Brittany Schmidt, originally posted on November 11, 2016


Originally published November 11, 2016 LUXEMBURG, Wis. (WBAY) – A Luxemburg family we first told you about two weeks ago can finally shower in their own home Friday night after their well was contaminated with manure.

“We turned on our faucets and pure manure came out,” said Erika Balza.

More than 2 weeks ago, the water at the Balza household, just about a mile outside of Luxemburg, was brown and smelled like manure.

“For 16 days we have showered at other places — my mother-in-law’s house — we’ve done laundry at her house,” said Balza.

Thanks to the Peninsula Pride Farms, Rio Creek Feed Mill and the Village of Luxemburg, the Balza’s water was clear on Friday.

“It was kind of weird turning it on, but it’s nice to know that it’s clean water,” said Balza.

But the 5,000-gallon water tank hooked up to her plumbing is only a temporary solution.

“When it freezes, it’s done,” said Balza.

Water tests done by Wisconsin’s DNR shows the Balza’s water well tested positive for manure, coliform and E.coli.

In an email, Jim Dick with the DNR said, “The well tests are consistent with DNR staff’s field observations of land spread manure on an adjacent farm field.”

He said the DNR will issue a Special Area of Well Compensation Eligibility for the Balza’s next week so they can apply for state grant funds to replace their well.

Balza said she already filled out a form.

“I don’t know the full depth of the new well, but the new casing is supposed to be around 160-180 feet, so they want that casing to go down very far,” said Balza.

However, there are some limitations.

“The grant is $9,000. Anything over and above that, we are responsible to pay for,” said Balza.

Balza said she knows the farmers didn’t do this on purpose.

“We live in the country. We have nothing against them. I’ve worked with these farmers,” said Balza.

But it happened and it continues to happen. That is why she is hoping to use her new-found knowledge to help others.

“If anybody has any questions about this process, what we’ve gone through, feel free to contact us. We will help as much as we can with others who have bad water,” said Balza.

Feel free to contact Erica Balza at

The Balza’s are hoping to have a new well by Thanksgiving.

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