Town of Campbell

Eau Claire


Two months since Rib Mountain, two weeks since Wausau, and two days since Rothschild notified the public of elevated levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, surrounding metro communities are formulating plans to test for PFAS as well.
For the past several years, the village has been working with Rothschild to come to an agreement to purchase its water since Rothschild has a treatment facility. The public service commission gave the approval this week for the village to begin construction of a meter and connection between the two municipalities.

USGS says Kronenwetter has both a well protection plan and an ordinance, but I didn't find a link on the utility web page

La Crosse/Town of Campbell

Madison/Truax Field


Two months since Rib Mountain, two weeks since Wausau, and two days since Rothschild notified the public of elevated levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, surrounding metro communities are formulating plans to test for PFAS as well.

Mosinee’s director of public works, Kevin Breit, said they have been in contact with the state and are interested in applying for the testing funds, though it still has to go through the city’s government approval first. He stated there will be training for it at the beginning of March, with testing anticipated in April. The city has six wells. Breit said he is confident that they would be able to easily address PFAS contamination if levels are found because it has a treatment plant equipped to filter it out. It has a granulated carbon filter that was put into the facility to address the city’s elevated levels of iron and manganese; that process is also known to filter out PFAS.

USGS says Mosinee has both a well protection plan and an ordinance (I need to look for this)

Rhinelander (two of five wells shut down, both had roughly 100 ppt)
3/20/2022     $1.6 million coming from President Biden’s recently signed spending plan.
       WXPR, WJFW WXPR podcast
3/25/2022 spring mayoral election
Steve Sauer and Kris Hanus are in the running for the position.
Sauer also identified PFAS as a key priority. He says he would consider using earmarked federal funding to drill a new well, after the city shut down two of its wells in 2019 due to the chemicals.
When they were shut down, city officials said well seven had over 100 parts per trillion of PFAS and well eight had over 95. Both of the levels are still higher than the state and EPS’s recommended maximum of 70 parts per trillion.
According to WXPR radio, Vruwink is hoping to build a new well to replace the two shut down, but that would require long-term budget and spending plans that have not yet made it to Congress.
It’s been more than two and a half years since Rhinelander shut down two of its wells over PFAS concerns.
The city continues to operate with just three other active wells.
Well 8 is the other Rhinelander well that’s shutdown.  It had PFHxS levels peaking at 95.7 parts per trillion when it was shutdown. Those PFAS chemicals were not included in the NRB’s standard.
Well 7 was shut down over high levels of PFOA and PFOS. The combined level of PFOA and PFOS peaked at 104.8 PPT. That’s nearly 35 PPT more than the standard recently set by the Wisconsin DNR’s policy board.
Also mentions Park Falls, Rib Mountain, Wausau

Rib Mountain (1 of 4 wells shut down, PFOA and PFOS each at 3-4 ppt)
PFAS information

Rib Mountain
        well map
Well map

USGS says Rib Mountain has both a well protection plan and an ordinance
Well protection plan
Well protection ordinance
Rothschild (1 of 4 wells shut down, distribution point DHS hazard index still 1.11)
Rib Mountain well map shows wells for Schofield and Rothschild (red circles) just across the river
Administrator Gary Olsen says despite currently offering levels that are below the 20 parts per trillion mark, his staff is still going to examine ways to eliminate as many of the chemicals as possible. Olsen says he is having regular conversations with other local leaders including Wausau Mayor Katie Rosenberg and other Administrators that are also dealing with the contaminants, and the information sharing among those leaders has been key to understanding what they are up against when it comes to the emerging contaminants.

“We have just received our 2nd round of voluntary testing for PFAS. As you will recall, our first tests showed PFA levels at 22.44 parts per trillion with a hazard index of 1.26 at our water entry point to the distribution system. When we received these results, we immediately shut down well #4, because it had the highest concentration of PFAS, and diverted well #6 into our water treatment plant. The calculations showed this should have reduced our numbers to be under the recommended levels.
Our second round of PFAS testing came back at a level of 19.78 so we are now under the 20 parts per trillion recommendation. This was a 12% decrease in PFAS levels, but the hazard index is still just barely above 1 at 1.11.
The DNR has requested that we now test every three months for these chemicals. We will post the results of these tests on our website once they are available.

Water Utility
         Water Quality Report (2020)
USGS says Rothschild has both a well protection plan and an ordinance, but I didn't find it on the water utility web page
Rib Mountain well map shows wells for Schofield (yellow circles) and Rothschild just across the river

        Mountain well map 

Two months since Rib Mountain, two weeks since Wausau, and two days since Rothschild notified the public of elevated levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, surrounding metro communities are formulating plans to test for PFAS as well.
Schofield was selected to be part of the EPA’s random testing for PFAS, the same program which led to Rhinelander’s discovery of its elevated levels in 2019. Public Works Administrator Mark Thuot said that testing will occur in May 2023. He said given the availability of state testing funds and the discoveries in surrounding communities, he plans to speak with the city council to find out if they would like to test sooner. The water and sewer commission has its next regularly scheduled meeting in March.

Water Utility

Water Quality Report
USGS says Schofield does not have a well protection plan and ordinance

Stevens Point
Public Utilities Director Joel Lemke said testing was done about six years ago. Lemke said at that time no PFAS was detected. He said testing will be done again in 2023. The city has seven wells, one well is offline. He believes future testing will again show no detection as the city lacks industry.
Wausau (all wells above 20 ppt)
Water sample results

Well protection plan page
The idea of a wellhead protection program is to encourage environmentally safe land uses near the well recharge areas. The City of Wausau relies on 4 wells located on the north side of the city west of the Wisconsin River. A fifth well is located on the east side of the river. [Note: the sample results table contains 6 wells, so this language is a bit outdated, perhaps before well 11 was constructed in 2011.]

A well head protection area has been created for the west side wells. The well head protection area is divided into a Zone A nearest the well and a Zone B where contamination would take more than 5 years to reach the wells. The Wausau City Wellhead Protection Ordinance provides restrictions for commercial development in the wellhead protection area to discourage businesses that are likely to cause groundwater contamination from locating there.

It is odd that this web page does not include a link to the plan itself.
An extensive history of the system can be found in the Wausau Water Works Commision meeting packet for 1/12/2021.

As with many PFAS contamination sites, VOC contamination was discovered in the municipal wells in 1987 and a site investigation traced it to Marathon Electric. EPA did a well treatment feasibility study in 1988.

These documents included a 1987 well map which shows older wells 3, 6, 7 & 9 but not newer wells 10 & 11, which are apparently not far from well 9.

1987 Wausau well map

In the first day of Wausau’s bottled water giveaway program the city has already run out of supplies, according to a City of Wausau Facebook post. During a March 8 Wausau Water Works and Finance Committee joint meeting, Dist. 3 Alder Tom Kilian countered skepticism about the demand for bottled drinking water by cautioning that the city’s plan was not tenable giving the city’s 17,000 households. Kilian called for a “portfolio of options” and said that bottled water alone would not be enough to tackle the issue. Kilian, speaking during the meeting, criticized the city’s inaction and told Wausau Water Works Commission Member John Robinson that the math did not compute given most residents know there is a current drinking water advisory.


The City of Wausau and Wausau Water Works will provide bottled water to city residents beginning Monday, March 28, according to a press release issued on Friday. Water filter pitchers will be arriving the week of April 4 . Residents will be required to pre-register to get them.

same day: Wausau’s Liberation and Freedom Committee this week advised officials to use multiple channels and three languages to distribute information about PFAS and the city’s drinking water advisory.

Marathon County Health Department has had an uptick in water testing since the announcement of PFAS contamination in city wells in January.

spring elections: district 5 district 11

Steve Elmore and Sarah Yang on WPR radio show "route 51", archived at

The Wausau City Council on Monday approved funding for short- and long-term solutions to the city’s drinking water contamination issues including bottled water and personal filters for city residents. The council approved $390,375 to fund the short-term solutions and a pilot study for PFAS removal at the new Drinking Water Treatment Facility, which is set to open this summer.

Wausau finance committee has earmarked $150,000 from the American Rescue Plan Funding to immediately purchase a combination of bottled water and water filtration devices.
A formal drinking water advisory that recommends residents reduce exposure to PFAS by limiting their consumption of Wausau’s drinking water is now online, though no official press release or statement accompanied the posting.
WSAU story

The Wausau Water Works Commission met Tuesday night to discuss the city’s current PFAS situation. They’re deciding on long and short-term solutions to removing PFAS from drinking water. Tuesday, they decided to approve funding for a pilot study and services for removing PFAS at the new future water treatment facility.

Their biggest concern is getting people safe drinking water. The committee heard a presentation from a firm for a pilot study. Donohue & Associates and Becher Hoppe will do the study. The pilot study allows them to analyze the situation and figure out how to reduce PFAS.

Donohue & Associates and Becher Hoppe will make both long and short-term recommendations to the city. Short term, the city wants information on the current risks at the current PFAS levels. Earlier Mayor Katie Rosenberg had suggested a temporary filtration system could be brought in. Long-term the city will decide whether any additional technology should be added to the new water filtration plant, which is scheduled to go online in August. Rosenberg said she expects PFAS levels to be lowered once the new facility is ready.

According to the city, it will also include PFAS-reduction measures into its water treatment plant, reported WPR. City Mayor Katie Rosenberg said these measures will likely take seven months to ensure. The city will bring in a mobile treatment facility and set up bottled water refilling stations around the city, reported WPR.

WAUSAU – Mayor Katie Rosenberg had a simple answer to the question of whether an email she received from Public Works Director Eric Lindman regarding "forever chemicals," or PFAS, in the city's water last year was misleading. "Yes," she wrote in an email to the Wausau Daily Herald on Friday. In a 2021 email provided to the Daily Herald by the nonprofit Midwest Environmental Advocates from Lindman to Katie Rosenberg and a Wausau resident, Lindman told Rosenberg and the resident that PFAS levels in the city's wells had last tested below both the limits advised by the Environmental Protection Agency and proposed limits by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
In fact, the 2019 round of testing Lindman was referring to had revealed five of the six city wells had levels of PFAS higher than the proposed limits by the DNR.
Five of six Wausau wells tested in 2019 after future drinking water standards were shared statewide already showed toxic substances at levels exceeding the new recommendation, city documents show. But those numbers were not announced to the public until Wednesday, after a second round of testing was complete. “NRB member Dr. Frederick Prehn is a health professional from Wausau,” Wilkin Gibart said. “Community members in Wausau, Marinette, La Crosse and across Wisconsin need the NRB to follow the recommendations of scientists and health professionals by approving PFAS water quality standards.”
West Bend 404

Weston (2 of 6 wells shut down, remaining wells have DHS hazard index about 0.6 or less)
The village announced Thursday that it shut off two of its six drinking water wells, after testing for PFAS showed elevated levels of the compounds flowing into its water treatment plant. Keith Donner, the Village Administrator, said the wells were taken offline last week, immediately following seeing the results of the voluntary testing. Additional testing will be conducted in the coming weeks to ensure the results were correct. The results don't violate any current standards, but action is being taken because the numbers exceed the recommended health limits set forth by the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Health Services, Donner said. Josh Swenson, the Weston Water Utility director, said the process of installing two new wells is already underway, with bids being accepted by the village for construction. The village is also looking at a way to blend the water from the impacted wells, which could lower PFAS levels below the 20 parts per trillion recommended standard. Swenson also noted that the current water treatment plant has pipelines already installed for granulated activated carbon systems to filter the water, and will work to procure the filters when possible. Kyle Burton, the field operations director of drinking water and groundwater for the DNR, said investigations into all of the PFAS contaminations in the central part of the state are underway. It's a possibility that all of them could be related, he said. "We're seeing a lot of these in the central Wisconsin metro area, and there may be a reason to look at the bigger picture here and see if and how these situations can be connected," Burton said. "I think that's on all of our minds."

City officials met in Weston on Wednesday morning to discuss new findings from PFAS testing.
The studies found that wells 3 and 4, exceeded the recommended levels of the hazardous contaminant. As a result, on March 17th, those two wells in question were taken offline.

Press conference
    Press release and links to audio/video
        Press conference statement
        chronology and list of actions taken
        Upon learning these sample results the Village of Weston Water Utility shut down the Treatment Plant, taking wells 3 and 4 off-line, on Thursday March 17, 2022.
        This leaves four wells in operation (1, 2, 5, 6)
Lab results page
spreadsheet summary wells 3 & 4 exceeded DHS index on 3/2/2022, mostly PFOS/PFHxS in roughly equal amounts
lab reports
water quality reports

PFAS 101

USGS says Weston has both a well protection plan and an ordinance, but I didn't find a link on the utility web page
Wisconsin Rapids (1-2 ppt)
3/3/2022 WRWA