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Fond Du Lac Settles State Lawsuit Over Drinking Water Violations


MADISON The City of Fond du Lac has agreed to pay $35,000 to settle state claims brought under Wisconsin's drinking water laws. 


Wisconsin is required to administer a safe drinking water program no less stringent than federal safe drinking water standards.  As part of that program, Wisconsin law sets forth contaminant levels and other requirements for public water systems.  The maximum contaminant level for radionuclides (radium) was set in 1983, and pursuant to an agreement negotiated with USEPA, community water systems were required to comply with that level by December 2006.


According to the complaint, the City of Fond du Lac water system has exceeded the contaminant level for radium since 1984, and the City ultimately committed to implementing a treatment plan that would remove radium from non-compliant wells, along with a plan to improve water conservation.  The radium removal program will be fully operational in 2009.


As part of the settlement, the City of Fond du Lac will also in 2009 complete a water system master plan for the Fond du Lac water system that includes water conservation and efficiency goals and recommendations.


Long-term exposure to elevated levels of radium in drinking water poses a higher risk of bone cancer for the people exposed.  In announcing the settlement, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen recognized the City's commitment to taking comprehensive steps to ensure the provision of safe drinking water.  "The citizens of our state must be ensured that their drinking water meets state standards, and the City of Fond du Lac has worked hard to provide that assurance."


Assistant Attorney General JoAnne F. Kloppenburg prosecuted the case.  Fond du Lac County Circuit Court Judge Robert Wirtz approved the settlement.