Scientists are one step closer to understanding how dangerous contaminants from fecal matter are entering private wells in Kewaunee County. New research by U.S. Department of Agriculture microbiologist Mark Borchardt shows nitrate and coliform in the water mostly comes from agriculture — and not human waste.
“Where we see the strong relationships, the strong linkages, those are with agricultural factors. So that would suggest that agriculture is primarily responsible for those two contaminants,” he said in an interview
Borchardt’s study found that the No. 1 risk factor for contamination was the proximity of a well to a manure storage pit. Borchardt said the closest well in the study was 150 feet from a manure pit, but even wells three miles away still have some risk of being contaminated with coliform.