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Posted on: December 4, 2023

Prescott Water Update

Water

First, is the City of Prescott water safe to drink? Yes, the City of Prescott regularly tests per Wisconsin DNR regulations and Safe Drinking Water Standards. If you would like to know the standards that the DNR has for all drinking water, please click on the link below.  These are the standards that the DNR holds us accountable for when testing all three of the City wells.

DNR Drinking Water and Groundwater Quality Standards

Does the City of Prescott have high nitrates in its water? The quick answer is yes, for the most part all groundwater has some level of nitrates in water. In September of 2021 the City of Prescott as part of its regular testing of all three of its wells exceeded the drinking water standard for nitrates of 10 mg/L on well #3.  As a result, well #3 has been offline since September of 2021.  The City completed an engineering report looking at different options remediation of well #3 and decided based on that report to move forward with reverse osmosis treatment.

The Consumer Confidence Report on the City’s website is from 2022, is there newer information?   The Consumer Confidence Report is required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to provide information concerning water quality for the previous monitoring year.  The 2022 report can be found here.  The 2023 report will be posted in the summer of 2024.  If you want up to date testing results you can click on the link below titled Prescott Waterworks Sample Results and then click on “Other Chemical Samples” to get all the up-to-date tests for the City’s water.

Prescott Waterworks Sample Results – Other Chemical Samples

Why is the remediation of Well #3 taking so long and what is the plan moving forward? The remediation of well #3 has taken longer than expected for two reasons:

1. The Wisconsin DNR currently has a safe drinking water standard for PFOA and PFOS, which are chemicals that are part of a family known as PFAS, at 70 parts per trillion (ppt).   However, recently the United States Environmental Pollution Agency is considering lowering that standard to 4 ppt, which you can read more about at the link below.  If this new standard goes into effect it would result in the City wells no longer being in compliance.  So, one of the reasons the remediation of well #3 is taking so long is because we were waiting for the EPA to release these proposed new regulations to design treatment of well #3 for not only nitrates but also PFAS.  The City wants to make sure that a treatment system is designed that does not require us to spend additional funds for further treatment in the future.

U.S. EPA Proposed PFAS Drinking Water Regulation

2.The other reason was that in working with the Wisconsin DNR they have recently developed funding for communities to remediate PFAS called the Emerging Contaminates program.   The City applied for this funding and is waiting to receive word on loan forgiveness (grant) for the program.  The City was also required to complete a small scale pilot study of the proposed treatment of well #3, which also added time on the project.

 

 

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