“I’m proud to say we have amazed the researchers helping us in River Falls with the tremendous participation of area residents so far,” says Diana Hammer Tscheschlok, Community, Natural Resource, and Economic Development Educator with the University of Wisconsin-Extension, Fond du Lac County, noting they are half-way to their goal of completed surveys needed. “We urge those with remaining surveys to complete them promptly so we can meet our goal to better understand the educational needs of those drinking well water,” she adds.
The survey has been mailed from the Survey Research Center at the University of Wisconsin – River Falls to a random selection of county residences and to all addresses in the Town of Byron. “Those who have not yet completed the survey will receive a reminder postcard in the mail soon,” Tscheschlok adds.
The survey asks how safe area residents feel their drinking well water is, whether they sample their water, and what information they need to keep it safe. It is four pages in length and will take 10 – 15 minutes to fill out. People who return the survey by the deadline will be entered into a drawing to win a free well water test. Results are anonymous and will be reported only in summary form.
The Fond du Lac County Health Department, Code Enforcement, Land Conservation, and UW-Extension departments have worked together for many years to educate county residents about well water safety and best practices for maintaining safe drinking water. They offer township-wide testing programs, fund well abandonment projects, monitor septic systems, operate the drinking water testing lab, respond to residents’ questions, and do site visits as needed to monitor and sample after contamination events. This evaluation of their efforts is funded by a 2015-2016 grant from the Wisconsin Environmental Education Board.