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Expanded Well Grant Programs Aim at Improving Clean Drinking Water Access Statewide PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Monday, 13 November 2023 14:25

clean-drinking-water-faucetGovernor encourages private well owners to apply for available funding to address PFAS.

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today highlighted his Well Compensation and Well Abandonment Grant Programs—programs with enhanced and expanded eligibility beyond the existing state program and funded under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)—to help private well owners receive funding to address per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The programs, created and announced by Gov. Evers in 2022, provide $10 million in financial assistance to well owners to address contamination in their wells by awarding grants for the replacement, reconstruction, treatment, or abandonment of impacted wells. Due to the expanded eligibility under the program created by Gov. Evers, many previously ineligible individuals applied over the past year, including some small Wisconsin businesses with a non-community well, including daycare centers, rural restaurants, and churches, among others. 

tony-evers“In 2023, it is unconscionable that folks and families should still have to worry about having clean, safe drinking water in their homes and coming from their taps. Whether it’s nitrates, bacteria, PFAS, or any other emerging contaminants, these programs are paying off and helping folks get these contaminants out of their water supplies,” said Gov. Evers. “I’m proud of the progress we’ve made to address 370 contaminated wells across the state through the funding I directed, but we also know there is much more work to do. We want Wisconsinites to know that funding is still available to help get them the support and resources they need, and private well owners can apply today for this assistance to help keep their families healthy and safe.”

There is still time to apply for a well compensation grant under expanded eligibility criteria through the governor’s ARPA-funded program. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will accept applications until funding runs out or Dec. 6, 2024, whichever happens sooner. Applicants are encouraged to submit as soon as possible to ensure funding remains available. More information is available at the DNR’s Well Compensation Grant webpage and the Well Abandonment Grant webpage

pfas-cleanupTo date, DNR has awarded more than 46 percent of the $10 million investment to 370 grantees statewide, including the replacement of 207 contaminated wells, the treatment of 43 contaminated wells, and 120 unused, abandoned wells that were properly filled and sealed. 

Of the total number of contaminated wells, 189 were contaminated with nitrate. The remaining 61 wells were contaminated with PFAS, arsenic, and fecal bacteria. 

Additionally, DNR is in the process of creating a new grant program to help public water systems with drinking water contaminated by PFAS or other emerging contaminants. This upcoming program will be designed to help small and disadvantaged public water systems not currently eligible for the ARPA well compensation grants, including privately owned community water systems such as mobile home parks and condominium associations and nonprofit, non-community water systems such as public schools. The grant program is expected to be ready to accept applications in early 2024. Questions about this grant program can be addressed to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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