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Well water quality growing concern for opponents of planned mega dairy


SARATOGA, WI (WTAQ) - The quality of well water is a growing concern by opponents of a proposed mega-dairy farm south of Wisconsin Rapids.

The Wysocki Companies plan to create a 7,000-acre farm with 5,300 animals in the town of Saratoga.

About 350 people attended a meeting on the project Sunday, and Wood County Extension resource agent Peter Manley said Saratoga’s water quality is better than in most places. He said the community’s water was tested last fall, and none of the 79 samples had higher-than-recommended levels of nitrogen – which he said was very unusual.

But local residents who oppose the dairy remain concerned.

Rick Potter told the Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune that he fears his 15 foot well would dry up if the dairy goes in. Manley’s study shows that the area’s water is pure – but Potter says he fears that contaminants will get into the system.

A group called “Protect Wood County” said it has provided numerous documents about the dairy’s possible impact to the DNR, which will consider the dairy’s requests for permits to operate high-capacity wells.

A public hearing will take place before a decision is made.