Madison Water Utility holding off on decision regarding use of Well 8

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 3:03am

Madison Water Utility has still not made a decision on the use of our seasonal Well 8 on Madison's east side this summer. Though it is not currently in service, Well 8 is often used during the high-demand summer months and can be important to provide enough water during a fire emergency in the area.

We are awaiting further results from Madison Kipp Corporation that could make the location of a contamination plume emanating from MKC property more clear. Madison Kipp Corporation recently installed a groundwater monitoring well about 600 feet from Well 8 to determine how far a contaminated groundwater plume has spread. Tests of the monitoring well water show that it does contain traces of tetrachloroethylene (PCE) - the same chemical contaminating groundwater beneath Madison Kipp. According to Madison Kipp, the tests detected PCE at very low levels of about 0.76 micrograms per liter. The federally mandated maximum contaminant level for PCE is 5.0 micrograms per liter.

It's important to note that no PCE has ever been found in the water at Well 8. While Madison Kipp's shallow monitoring well takes in samples from a depth of about 120-130 feet for testing, Well 8 is much deeper - some 774 feet - and draws water primarily from the lower aquifer below a natural barrier known as the Eau Claire Shale.

So far, heavy rainfall has led to relatively low water demand in June and Well 8 has not been needed. When Well 8 is used again, Madison Water Utility will run thorough tests to make sure that the water is safe before it enters our distribution system.


  • Amy Barrilleaux, Water Utility PIO(608) 266-9129

Water Utility