Farms, More Productive Than Ever, Are Poisoning Drinking Water in Rural America

WSJ Farms More Productive Than Ever are Polluting

One in seven Americans drink from private wells, which are being polluted by contaminants from manure and fertilizer

KEWAUNEE COUNTY, Wis.—Chuck Wagner has given up on drawing clean water from his faucets.

When he moved, 23 years ago, to 80 acres situated between dairy farms in northeastern Wisconsin, he built a home and drilled a 123-foot well. The water tested clean, and his family drank it. Five years later, tests showed it was contaminated with bacteria and nitrates, potentially harmful and often derived from nitrogen in manure and fertilizer.

The contamination increased over time, and his family now drinks bottled water. Mr. Wagner, a 68-year-old retired engineer, believes the pollutants are from the dairies next door.


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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Nina Milligan

    So sad, this story. Is this another argument for organic farming?

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