Volume 25, No. 3 - WGWA Newsletter, Third Quarter 2011

President's Message

Well I started this year working in southern Ohio, and had a lot of trouble getting home due to record-breaking snow falls. Then I had trouble driving to work in Ohio due to major flooding of the Ohio River. The flooding affected the Missouri, Platt, and Mississippi Rivers as well as several other smaller rivers around the country, due primarily to snow melt from the record setting year in Canada. Our Wisconsin spring was cold, we rarely achieved 55 degree days in Milwaukee throughout the month of June. This was followed by one of the hottest Julys we have ever experienced. As I write this today on my birthday in mid-August, the weather is a very mild 70 degree day with almost no humidity, a weather oddity for August. The weather has certainly been a topic of conversation and concern this year.

Despite the weather, WGWA stays dry and warm and continues to provide service to our membership. We recently had our first luncheon seminar in Madison in many years. Robert Montgomery of Montgomery Associates discussed a very interesting groundwater storage project. We hope to have one more luncheon event this year, stayed tuned for announcements on that.

Our next event is the annual field trip, scheduled for Saturday September 17th, “Behind the Scenes of Madison Geology”. This one day trip will feature a “behind the scenes” tour of the UW Geology museum, a tour of the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History core repository collection, and a visit to the Nine Springs site to observe a Flute mulit-level sampling system. We are also working to set up a brewery tour, purely to observe the importance of water to making that wonderful golden liquid! Please consider joining us for an entertaining and educational day.

Our membership has grown a bit this year, and the board is looking for enhance methods to communicate with its membership. We are exploring the use of social networking media and other avenues to enhance our value to membership. Please share your thoughts and idea so that we can provide you with the tools you need from WGWA.

Also, please plan ahead for our annual meeting next year. This will be a special event commemorating two retiring professors who have made significant contributions to water related topics and research, and have mentored many of our current professionals in this industry. You will not want to miss this event! More details to follow.

I close by reflecting on how good it is to be a Wisconsin sports fan. The reigning super bowl champion Packers are back on the field now that the lockout has ended, and should be favorites this year. The Brewers are in first place and look to make a better run into the playoffs this year. The Wisconsin Badgers football team is being touted as a contender for the national championship, and gets the first crack at Big Ten newcomer Nebraska in a September night game. The UW Women’s hockey team was national champion last year. Wisconsin has quietly become a force in the sporting world. This has nothing to do with water, but the outstanding progress of our sports teams seems noteworthy, and a source of civic pride. My best to all, and I hope to see you at an upcoming WGWA event!

James Bannantine, WGWA President

September 17, 2011
Annual WGWA Fall Field Trip

“Behind the Scenes of Madison Geology”

This year’s trip will center in Madison and include:
  • LA “behind the scenes” tour of the UW Geology Museum
  • Nine Springs “FLUTE” site
  • WGNHS Core Repository tour and presentation
  • Local brewery tour

The trip will begin and end at the Great Dane Brew Pub at the Hilldale Shopping Center, with a chance to mingle and munch at the conclusion of the trip!

More details to come!!!


Paula Richardson
WGWA President-Elect

Taylor County - The State of Our Groundwater

We ran this article last quarter, but it has been updated with 2011 data. Links are listed below.

Groundwater is referred to as the “Buried Treasure” in Taylor County. Conservation and protection of groundwater has been our top natural resource concern and priority since it was identified as such in Taylor County’s first Land & Water Resource Management Plan ten years ago. Taylor County citizens also recognize that groundwater provides critical base flow to our creeks and streams, and headwaters for some of the main river systems in Central and Northcentral Wisconsin (eg. Black, Little Black, Big Eau Pleine, Jump, Rib, Yellow, Mondeaux, Eau Claire, Spirit). READ MORE

  • Table 1. Taylor County Private Well Summary Information by Township (January 1936 - November 2009).
  • Figure 1a. Taylor Private Wells Sampled thru June 2011
  • Figure 1b. Taylor HOP Wells thru June 2011
  • Figure 1c. Taylor Metals Wells thru June 2011
  • Figure 2. Taylor Phosphorus Max As Of July 2011
  • Figure 3. Taylor Iron Max As Of July 2011
  • Figure 4. Taylor Manganese Max As Of July 2011
  • Figure 5. Taylor Arsenic Max As Of June 2011

Statigraphy Corner - Northcentral Wisconsin
Blue Hills to Goodrich cross section
by Lee Trotta

In keeping with the Taylor County theme of the lead article in this newsletter (Oberle, 2011), let’s add the dimension of depth to the study details. The cross section to be examined is one of many published in the 1998 USGS Hydrologic Atlas, for which I compiled the geology. CLICK HERE for a larger version of the cross section. It crosses not only Taylor County, but most of Rusk County also (Blue Hills to east of Ladysmith).

Spring 2012 Annual WGWA Meeting Update
by Paula Richardson

Planning is already underway for the 2012 Annual WGWA Meeting in honor of Dr. Douglas Cherkauer, who has recently retired as Professor of Hydrogeology at UWM, and Dr. Mary Anderson, who has recently retired as Professor of Hydrogeology at UW-Madison. Here is the beginning of a note we recently wrote to them asking each if they would participate in a conference next spring to honor their achievements:

In recognition of your professional accomplishments, your influence on the practice and understanding of the hydrogeology of Wisconsin, and your contributions over the years to the Wisconsin Ground Water Association (WGWA), the Executive Board would be honored if you would permit us to bring together the Wisconsin hydrogeology community to dedicate our 2012 annual technical conference to you. Many of your former students and present colleagues feel that this would be a fitting tribute to you and have expressed interest over the potential to participate in such an event.

Dr. Anderson and Dr. Cherkauer agreed to participate and we have tentatively set the date for Friday, April 27, 2012. The conference will be held at a venue between Madison and Milwaukee. James Drought (Shaw Environmental, Inc.), Daniel Feinstein (United States Geologic Survey), and Paula Richardson (Saga Environmental & Engineering, Inc.) have initiated the planning activities and are looking for other individuals interested in helping plan this exciting event.

The conference will begin with a luncheon, followed by about 9 technical presentations by existing and former students and colleagues of Dr. Anderson and Dr. Cherkauer, and will conclude with a cocktail reception. Even though Dr. Cherkauer and Dr. Anderson have reputations that extend far beyond Wisconsin, the technical talks will largely focus on resource and environmental issues pertaining to Wisconsin water in order to give the conference thematic unity.

Treasurer's Report

Board Minutes

Interesting Articles and Other Tidbits on the Web

You trace your roots
Can you trace your roots back to the Revolutionary War? Well I can trace mine back to Neanderthal Man! See if you can do the same by clicking HERE

Looking for the ocean on Enceladus?
Try digging 50 miles beneath the surface! Click HERE

Everything that goes around comes around.
The hard part is telling where the starting point was. Click HERE to read about a report out of Northwestern University and the University of Missouri on earthquakes and their aftershocks."

We may find water on Mars, but we probably won't be able to drink it.
That doesn't mean some other life form might not just love the stuff.
HERE's the latest!

Conferences, Meetings, and Courses (August to December)

Aug 26: Webinar: Greener Streets - Using Bioswales for Clean Water and Infiltration, free from Water Star, reserve your seat at https://www.1.gotomeeting.com/ register/163738944

Sept. 9: Webinar: Stream Corridor Improvements - Remeandering and Daylighting Streams, Habitat Restoration and Fish Friendly Culverts, free from Water Star, reserve your seat at https://www.1.gotomeeting.com/ register/994268361

Sept. 23: Webinar: Using Non-Regulatory Tools to Achieve Water Quality Goals, free from Water Star, reserve your seat at https://www.1.gotomeeting.com/ register/519549072

Oct. 9-12: 2011 GSA Annual Meeting in Minneapolis at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The Geological Society of America. "Archean to Anthropocene - the Past is the Key to the Future"

Nov 29-Dec 2: NGWA Expo, Las Vegas, see groundwaterexpo.com for details.