Water Quality

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We track water quality, make sure regulations are followed, and respond to complaints about illegal dumping and inappropriate discharges.

Water Quality in Dane County

Access to quality drinking water is key to our health and well-being.

The biggest threats to safe drinking water in Dane County are:

  • Nitrates: Nitrates are harmful to infants and pregnant people. Private wells can be contaminated with nitrates from:
    • fertilizers and other agricultural or industrial chemicals
    • over-fertilization of crops or lawns
    • animal waste run-off, and
    • failing septic systems.
  • Lead: Old plumbing pipes, solder, and fixtures can release lead and other metals into drinking water.
  • Chloride & Sodium: Sodium and chloride levels are increasing in our ground and surface waters. This is from 60 years of applying road salt in winter. The chloride and sodium levels are not a health hazard currently. See the animation below to see how chloride levels have changed over time:
  • PFAS: Madison Water Utility is monitoring drinking water supplies in all municipal wells for PFAS contamination. More information on municipal well testing and results is available through the Madison Water Utility.
    • If you don’t live in Madison, contact your municipality to learn about PFAS testing in your community.
    • Learn more about PFAS on our webpage.

If you are concerned about the quality of your drinking water:

  • All community water utilities are required to provide customers with a Consumer Confidence Report by July 1 of each year. If you did not get a report, contact your water system or generate your own on the Department of Natural Resources website.
  • Get information on how to get your water tested.

Water Quality Reports

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