Groundwater Information


Groundwater provides drinking water entirely or in part for as much as 50% of the global population and accounts for 43% of all water used for irrigation.  The Town of Wheaton continues to work in support of clean drinking water for all residents.  It is important to note that the threat to clean water is lawn fertilizers, septic systems, and agriculture fertilizers and waste.  Septic systems are not designed to filter out nitrates. They are designed to break down bacteria.

The Town of Wheaton has sponsored a Well Sampling Project since 2019.  This has been offered to residents every year except 2020 during the pandemic.  Results from the four years of testing provide baseline information that will help in the following ways:

  • Assists the Township, Chippewa County, and U.W. Stevens Point Central Wisconsin Groundwater Center with documenting the current and changing conditions of groundwater in order to provide education, public information, applied research, and technical assistance in addressing groundwater issues.
  • Helps residents monitor their wells for changes in groundwater so actions can be taken if needed.
  • Provides information to other Chippewa County government and UW agencies on how soils, well depths, and changes in land use practices affect groundwater.   

Continued and expanded residents testing has shown the Town of Wheaton has high nitrate areas.  Boiling water will not reduce nitrate levels. In fact, it could make the level of nitrate slightly higher because some of the water will evaporate, however, the nitrate will remain.  High levels of nitrates in water can affect everyone such as causing birth defects, blue baby syndrome, thyroid disease, and may increase the chance of colon cancer.  High nitrate levels are 10 mg/L and higher.  

We recommend annual testing of your water, as groundwater can change!

There are multiple ways to address nitrates in groundwater.  Some can be quicker and more expensive while others could require more time and be less expensive.  There is no one solution that will solve every groundwater issue experienced!

  1. Reduce nitrate causing uses.
  2. Septic system inspections.
  3. Changes in land use practices.  There are several winter agricultural cover crop initiatives going on in the Town of Wheaton and Chippewa County.
  4. Using bottled water.
  5. Installing reverse osmosis system.
  6. Installing a new well.  We strongly urge residents to reach out to Chippewa County Land Conservation and Forest Management and U.W. Stevens Point Central Wisconsin Groundwater Center for assistance before proceeding forward with this option.

Chippewa County Land Conservation and Forest Management (LCFM) formed an AD HOC Well Program Committee which is led by Lynda Schweikert, Dept. Chair of LCFM.  The money comes from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds from the Federal Government. 

Supervisors Alice Droske and Carolyn Kaiser represent Wheaton on this committee.  Other members include representatives from the U.W. Stevens Point (Groundwater Education Specialist), environmental engineers, DNR, Geologists, and Chippewa County Public Health. 

Committee meetings are held at the County courthouse and open to the public. At the time of this writing, the Town of Wheaton has received maps in regards to water flow, areas of the township where wells have been tested and levels of nitrates in varying areas.  There are numerous causes of why your nitrate level may be high.  The key point is, we want everyone to be healthy.

Be watchful for visuals as maps will be posted, watch the Town of Wheaton website, come to a town board meeting with questions, get your water tested, and/or attend an AD HOC Committee meeting at the Chippewa County Courthouse. 



Groundwater Testing - This link contains additional information on where residents can have their water tested.

There are two local companies that will do nitrate testing for free, and there may be others.  Gibson Water Care and Culligan’s also have technicians that can guide you with options available, if you choose, such as reverse osmosis.  



Town of Wheaton Measured Nitrate Levels Map - 2023

Town of Wheaton Measured Nitrate Levels Map - 2022

Town of Wheaton Measured Nitrate Levels Map - 2021

Town of Wheaton Measured Nitrate Levels Map - 2019


Town of Wheaton Nitrate Testing in Collaboration with Chippewa County WI - Contains an analysis of yearly water test kits handed out versus water samples tested along with a summary of nitrate testing results that correlates with the yearly nitrate level maps.



Town of Wheaton Cover Crops Map - 2023



Chippewa County 2022 Nitrate Occurrence and Source Investigation Project Results Meeting - June 2023

UPDATE:  Link to the study report, the powerpoint presentation given to the Land Conservation & Forest Management Committee, and the presentation given to the project results meeting on 6/28/2023

Chippewa County Department of Land Conservation and Forest Management - Overview of Management Efforts to Limit NO3- Contributions to Groundwater from Agricultural Sources - December 2021

Wisconsin DNR Nitrate Webinar Series - August - September 2021

Well Sampling Project (Nitrates) - July 2021



Chippewa County

Chippewa County Well Water Monitoring Project

UW Stevens Point - Central Wisconsin Groundwater Center

UW Stevens Point - Wisconsin Well Water Quality Interactive Viewer

Department of Natural Resources

Drinking Water and Groundwater Study Group

New Interactive PFAS Data Tool

Well Compensation Grant Program

















































Wisconsin Groundwater Coordinating Council Report to the Legislature - Fiscal Year 2021