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Drinking Water in Madison Tainted

Posted by John N. Powers, Wittenberg
John N. Powers, Wittenberg
John N. Powers, Wittenberg, a Vietnam Veteran, has his Bachelor's and Master's d
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on Thursday, 01 September 2016 in Wisconsin

clean-drinking-waterWe have problems with our drinking water around the State and muddled thinking with our legislators in Madison. What can be done?

WITTENBERG, WI - You have seen the newspaper articles about Wisconsin’s water problems. How in 2009 high level of viruses were found in city water around the state and our legislators required testing and treatment of those water supplies. In 2011 legislators repealed that requirement.

In 2010 regulations were designed to reduce phosphorus in our waters. In 2011 legislators began fighting those regulations and eventually allowed compliance to be pushed back twenty years.

In 2014 molybdenum was found in twenty percent of private wells tested in the south east part of the state. The closer the wells were to recycled coal ash sites the higher the concentration. The DNR said the evidence was not strong enough to make any link.

Unsafe nitrate levels have been found in the drinking water of 94,000 homes in Wisconsin. Legislators created a compensation fund for those contaminated wells-but only if the well supplied drinking water for cattle, not children. The EPA says two thirds of the municipal and wastewater treatment plants and Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations in Wisconsin operate with expired discharge permits. One third of the wells in Kewaunee County have tested unsafe for drinking water. And while all this has been happening our DNR has issued citations in only four percent of the water pollution cases considered serious enough to warrant such citations. These problems have been making headlines in our newspapers on a regular basis.

What is not being discussed is the problem with contaminated drinking water in Madison, especially in the capitol building. That contamination seems to have started about the time our legislators repealed the requirement for testing and treatment of city water supplies. First it was decided our teachers were responsible for all of the state’s economic woes and had to be punished. Then hundreds of millions were cut from state aid to public schools and the university system. At the same a tax credit was created that reduced business owners state income tax to zero, a credit that required no job creation and will reduce state income by about $2 billion over the next ten years. Another law as passed that prohibited local school districts from making up their losses by raising their property taxes. Finally, the school voucher program was expanded and the decision made to completely remove the cap on the program in ten years. It was also decided to give more tax dollars per pupil to private schools than to public schools and to give parents of those private school students a $10,000 tax credit.

No logical thinking person would deliberately harm one of the nation’s finest public school systems this way on purpose. No one elected to represent the people of this state would deliberately turn against them this way. Wisconsin’s most important resource is her children and the future they represent. No one would deliberately take steps to harm that future. There can only be one explanation for the decisions coming from the capitol building that are destroying our schools. The drinking water is contaminated.

What can be done? Our attorney general and our Department of Natural Resources say they have no authority to protect our state’s water. No help there. After hours of research I have found an old remedy that was first used in 1845. Folk wisdom says not only can this remedy solve water contamination problems but many others as well. The steps involved are almost like an exorcism. On the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November people around the state must gather together in specific locations during specific hours of the day and mark pieces of paper with an X. If enough of those people do this correctly the water in Madison will be clean once again.

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John N. Powers, Wittenberg, a Vietnam Veteran, has his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from UW-Stevens Point and 31 years teaching experience in Shawano county schools. He is a Candidate for Wisconsin's 2nd Senate seat. You can find out more about John Powers for State Senate on FaceBook or at


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