Concerns Over Groundwater Swell In Sauk County

Water woes continue around the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant in Sauk County.

The U.S. Army has filed a proposal with the DNR that would replace the practice of cleaning up the groundwater in the area with a municipal water system.

The situation has residents in the area concerned, many of whom filled the Sauk City Public Library over the weekend to hear from water expert Peter Taglia.

“We know there’s groundwater contamination, and we know it discharges to the river,” said Taglia.

Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger hired the hydrogeologist to explain the potential implications of the Army’s proposal to stop cleaning up the groundwater around the former ammo plant.

It’s a proposal that Taglia rejects.

“I don’t think the data at the site supports walking away from active clean up,” said Taglia.

Officials at the Badger Army Ammunition Plant have been testing residents’ well water for more than 20 years, but rather than continue the testing, the Army wants to build a municipal water system for the community’s drinking water.

But residents aren’t convinced.

“To start paying for a water bill from the town seems a little out of place,” said nearby resident Edward Krumenauer. “I think if you could keep your current well, discontinue it from the house, I think everyone would be happy. That would be a goal.”

“It has a potential to affect the river, the wetlands and springs, because all the contamination is flowing there,” said Laura Olah, the executive director of Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger. “There certainly is a human health issue, because the chemicals we’re talking about like the DNT is a known human carcinogen.”

Krumenauer said the Army also needs to explain the impact of leaving known contaminates left in the ground.

“When will it end?” said Krumenauer. “It could be 50 years from now and it still might not be cleaned up.”

The Army’s plans for a municipal water system haven’t been approved by the DNR, so for now the testing and monitoring will continue.

Citizens have until April 2 to submit their comments to the DNR, when the agency will decide on the Army’s proposal.

For more information, contact Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger at http://www.cswab.org.