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District 20

Alder Matt Phair

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Alder Matt Phair

Contact Information

Home Address:

925 Arden Ln

Council Office

Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
WI Relay Service

Alder Phair’s Updates

Update-West Side Well Has "Not" Exceeded Federal Standard for Radium

December 1, 2019 3:40 PM

Hello Neighbors: 
I hope this message finds each of you well and enjoying the holiday weekend. For clarity and accurate information regarding Municipal Well 19, please see below: 
Madison Water Utility has been getting calls from concerned customers after an inaccurate headline was posted on a local news website claiming that water in a west side well exceeded the Federal standard for radium. No federal standard or limit has been exceeded. The headline has since been changed, but there may still be confusion or misinformation circulating.
Municipal Well 19, located near Picnic Point, is tested quarterly for radium. Results from August 28 showed levels slightly higher than 5 picocuries per liter (pCi/L), which is the federal Maximum Contaminant Level for radium. Quarterly test results would have to average above 5 for one year before the water would be considered in violation of the federal health standard for radium. The August result at Well 19 was 5.9 pCi/L.
Madison Water Utility retested the well and expects results in mid-December.  We previously recorded a result above 5 pCi/L (5.7) at the well in February of 2015.
Radium has always occurred naturally in rock that makes up Madison's aquifer, and variations in test results are not uncommon. The maximum contaminant level for radium is meant to ensure the safety of water over a lifetime of consumption, so a brief spike or anomalous result should not cause alarm. Madison Water Utility has included $8.6 million in our Capital Budget plan for construction of an iron and manganese treatment facility at Well 19 in 2023. Pilot testing at the well shows radium levels would also be reduced through this type of treatment.
Well 19 primarily serves parts of the UW Madison Campus near Picnic Point.  It also contributes some water to the State-Langdon and Regent neighborhoods at times.
Questions about your water quality? Call our Water Quality department M-F at (608) 266-4654 or email
As always, please reach out to me with any question/concerns that you may have as I am here to serve you. Thank you very much. 
Christian Albouras | Email: 



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