Mapping and Characterization of Springs in Brown and Calumet Counties, WisconsinBy Christian S. Waltman
Wisconsin Act 310 was signed into law on April 22, 2004 and subsequently codified under Wisconsin Administrative Code Chapter NR820. Under these new groundwater rules, high capacity wells (>100,000 gpd) are required to be permitted by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR). The permitting process determines whether high capacity wells will impact groundwater or other important water resources and specifies that high capacity wells must not be placed within 1,200 feet of natural springs with outflow greater than 1 cfs. Currently, the WDNR does not have a centralized database of spring locations, and no comprehensive natural spring study exists for the area of concern.
In this project, reconnaissance work has been performed and the locations of natural springs in Brown and Calumet Counties, Wisconsin has been determined. After geolocating the springs and assessing the sites, five (of 41 inventoried) were selected for further analysis based on discharge, location and ease of access. Discharge was measured and water samples were taken to determine the water quality of the emergent environment. An apparent groundwater age-date for each spring was determined by collecting dissolved gas samples, which were analyzed for CFC concentrations. A biological inventory of each monitored site was performed to evaluate the ecological characteristics of the springs in the study area. Using air photos (2005), a final map showing the locations of the springs and regional land use has been assembled.