Contact: Aaron White
WASHINGTON – Recently, U.S. Rep. Ron Kind led a bipartisan coalition of Members of Congress in calling for House Appropriations Committee leadership to provide $20 million for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Household Water Well System Grant program in the upcoming Appropriations package.
“Communities across western and central Wisconsin rely on private wells for their water, but thousands of Wisconsinites have contaminated or untested wells. I am calling on House leadership to give rural communities the resources they need to protect their water from pollutants and protect the health and safety of those who use private wells,” said Rep. Ron Kind.
The Household Water Well System Grant program helps rural households install, treat and update private water wells. The program was reauthorized in the 2018 farm bill, and was extended to allow for on-site wastewater recycling projects to qualify for the grants.
Over 47 million people in the United States rely on a private well for clean drinking water. Nearly 900,000 households rely on private wells in Wisconsin. The Household Water Well Loan and Grant program will protect the health and safety of Americans living on land dependent on a private well or septic system.
A 2018 study found that 42 percent of private wells in southwestern Wisconsin had unsafe contamination levels. An earlier statewide study published by the Journal of Environmental Health found that nearly half of private wells tested statewide contained water deemed unsafe to drink, containing high levels of iron, bacteria, nitrates, and other heavy metals or chemicals.
Read the letter here.