The Environmental Protection Agency says it is finalizing a plan to supply water to a group of residents with contaminated wells in Kewaunee County, where manure spreading by large dairy farms has been a growing source of controversy.
Officials from federal, state and county agencies met in Luxemburg with local residents Wednesday to discuss water contamination, farming practices and related issues in the wake of a task force report this summer that called for more controls over manure handling in cattle-intensive northeastern Wisconsin.
A sign on the white igloo perched next to the brown, murky water of the Menomonee Canal south of downtown says: “Making the Unthinkable Drinkable.” A small hose carries the canal’s heavily polluted water inside the 8-foot-diameter dome.
A button on the outside can be pushed to dispense clear water that is clean enough to drink, said Anne Wick. She invites curious visitors — most recently Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett; Cheryl Bailey, dean of the School of Natural and Health Sciences at Mount Mary University; and Dean Amhaus, president and CEO of The Water Council — to taste the finished and fully tested product.