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Muldoon, Maureen A.; Madison, Frederick William, 1937-; Lowery, Birl / Variability of nitrate loading and determination of monitoring frequency for a shallow sandy aquifer, Arena, Wisconsin
[DNR-123] (1998)

Introduction,   pp. 1-2 PDF (597.7 KB)

Page 1

    Project Background
    Nitrate contamination has long been known to be a problem in Wisconsin's sandy aquifers with
    shallow depth to groundwater (Jackson and others, 1987). Recent data suggest that 10-20
    percent of domestic wells in agricultural counties across the state exceed the drinking water
    standard of 10 mg/l1N03-N (Kraft, 1994); in Dane County 24 percent of rural wells exceed this
    standard (Bridson and others, 1994). Shallow, sandy aquifers are especially vulnerable to nitrate
    contamination due to rapid infiltration and the limited attenuation capability of these coarse-
    textured soils. In areas where sandy soils are used for crop production, nitrate contamination is
    common. For example, 34 percent of wells in the Lower Wisconsin River Valley exceed the 10
    mg/lNO3-N standard (Cates and Madison, 1992). Management of agricultural nitrogen inputs is
    becoming a growing concern; the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer
    Protection (DATCP) is considering new regulations aimed at managing nitrogen applications. In
    order to determine how various agricultural management practices impact groundwater, we first
    need to identify the temporal variability in nitrate concentrations reaching the saturated zone.
    Most groundwater monitoring projects assume that monthly or quarterly samples are adequate to
    characterize nitrate concentrations in groundwater, yet this assumption has not been tested.
    Purpose and Scope
    The objectives of this project were 1) to determine the temporal variability in nitrate
S  concentrations in shallow, sandy aquifers,. 2) to define the relationship between recharge and

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