Clean Lakes Alliance presents
Yahara Lakes 101 Science Cafe with Mike Parsen
Characterizing the sources of elevated groundwater nitrate in Dane County, Wisconsin
Thu, Feb 9 at 8am
Learn more about the science behind the issues that affect our lakes!
About the talk
Based on past surveys, roughly 25% of Dane County’s tested wells contained nitrate in excess of the state and federal drinking maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 10 mg/L for nitrate – well above Wisconsin’s statewide exceedance level of 12 percent. This study was designed to improve our understanding of the spatial and temporal distribution of nitrate in groundwater by combining GIS mapping, groundwater modeling, and statistical analysis. Findings demonstrated that while spatial groundwater nitrate patterns have remained fairly stable over time, driven by a combination of land use and hydrologic setting; there have been slight improvements in groundwater quality. While results indicate that maximum nitrate concentrations indeed appear to be decreasing, minimum background concentrations continue to rise; leading to an increased equilibrium level of nitrate in groundwater.
About our speaker
Mike Parsen is a hydrogeologist with the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, part of UW-Extension. Mike received his undergrad in Geology and Geological Engineering from the UW-Madison and his Master’s in Hydrogeology and Water Resources Management from the University of Neuchatel in Switzerland. Mike is currently is working on hydrogeology projects in Dane, Chippewa, Kewaunee, Trempealeau, Dunn, and Eau Claire Counties, serves as a resource on industrial sand mining in Wisconsin, and collaborates closely with the U.S. Geological Survey and DNR to operate, maintain, and manage the Wisconsin Groundwater-Level Monitoring Network.
About the series
Yahara Lakes 101 is a series of educational events open to the public and a great chance for residents to learn more about the science behind the issues that affect our lakes. Each month we feature a different expert to make the science accessible and interesting to non-technical audiences. Yahara Lakes 101 is produced in partnership with the UW-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, with hosting sponsor The Edgewater, presenting sponsor First Weber Group, supporting sponsor The Evjue Foundation, and media sponsor The Isthmus.
Yahara Lakes 101 is held both indoors and outdoors (weather permitting) at The Edgewater. Come at 7:30 a.m. for a meet-and-greet and to enjoy your coffee, pastries, and fruit. The program begins at 8 a.m., and class is dismissed by 9 a.m.
If you already are a Friend of Clean Lakes (minimum $35 donation/year), then admission is free. Become a Friend today. If you are not a Friend yet, admission is $10 per event. Registration for each event is requested for all attendees. Special event parking will be available at The Edgewater.