Town fears water contamination; attorney shares research

By Rebecca Cardenas, originally posted on November 15, 2016


TOWN OF SARATOGA, Wis. (WSAW) Water quality and quantity were on the minds of northcentral Wisconsin families Tuesday as their three-year fight against a mega-farm was laid out in research by those who oppose it.

The Town of Saratoga is waiting for an environment impact statement from the Department of Natural Resources, that they’re told will be more than 300 pages and is expected to be released in January.

The town’s attorney said Tuesday night that that report could be the key to stop the permits for the building of the Wyscocki family’s concentrated animal feeding operation, which he and many residents fear will contaminate the town’s water.

“Not only does our data support this but our experts say the same thing, which is: no amount of nutrient management is going to help here,” the attorney, Paul Kent, explained, “and I asked, ‘Well, why is that?’ It’s because of the sandy soil. You put water into the soil and those nitrates are going to go right into the groundwater.”

The attorney and a geologist demonstrated that process Tuesday, with fruit punch and a jug of sand, so residents, who almost filled the hall, could see for themselves how quickly sand is permeated.

Rhonda Carrell said contaminated water would threaten her hair salon business: “We’ve that with our without the manure, with the high capacity well, if they would grow crops, that sort of thing we lose our water quality and quantity.”

Kent said the Wysocki family will argue the DNR does not have jurisdiction over groundwater once the environment impact report comes out.

NewsChannel 7 did reach out to the family Tuesday and did not hear back.

This discussion started in 2012, when residents of the Town of Saratoga learned of the CAFO proposed by Wysocki Families of Companies. Golden Sands Dairy would produce approximately 55 million gallons of liquid manure and 25 tons of solid manure annually, which residents fear will contaminate their groundwater.

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