Fri February 22, 2013
DNR Looking At Molybdenum In Well Water
The DNR has started meeting with Southeastern Wisconsin residents concerned about high levels of the metal molybdenum in private well water.
Bruce Pittsley lives in one of the areas near the Milwaukee-Racine county line, where levels of molybdenum above a state groundwater standard have shown up in a high percentage of private wells. At a DNR open house in Caledonia last night, Pittsley said he's very concerned about molybdenum possibly spoiling an area where his extended family has been for 150 years: “We don't want to move, we don't want to sell, we don't want to do nothing. This is our life, there.”
Pittsley lives close to the giant WE Energies coal-fired power plant in Oak Creek. Molybdenum is found in coal ash and foundry sand, though it's also found naturally in the earth's crust. The DNR stresses that it's been unable to pinpoint the source of the metal; molybdenum is needed in the human body, but higher amounts can be harmful over a longer period of time. DNR Southeast District Director Eric Nitschke says concerned homeowners can put in water treatment units that cost $100 to $200, “which, when it comes to water treatment devices for private wells, that's a fairly doable number for most folks.”
The state Department of Health Services is still working on a public health assessment for molybdenum exposure in the Caledonia and Oak Creek private wells. cq, wpr