Rothschild reveals PFAS results

Water tower in Rothschild, WI
Water tower in Rothschild, WI(wsaw)
Published: Feb. 24, 2022 at 1:10 PM CST
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ROTHSCHILD, Wis. (WSAW) - The Village of Rothschild held a press conference Wednesday to announce the findings of testing it commissioned to measure the level of PFAS in its water.

The tests showed that one of its four wells was over the amount deemed safe by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. That one was immediately shut down.

“The combination of those six compounds was 25.47 and the recommended groundwater standard for a combination of those compounds is 20,” said DNR Field Operations Director Kyle Burton.

The Village is looking for a place to drill a replacement well.

“Well number four was a well that we were looking at replacing anyway and now we’re thinking well number four will probably stay off at this point,” said Village Administrator Gary Olsen.

Olsen explained further with NewsChannel 7 on Thursday that ever since the Wisconsin River and Lake Wausau were drawn down to repair dams in 2019, well four had experienced issues and was the weakest well.

Two of the other wells were just on the brink of the 20 parts per trillion threshold. They are treated along with the fourth, which has just over 11 ppt. Water from the well with the lowest amount of forever chemicals will dilute levels from the other two.

“We don’t know if this is a long-term solution yet I think, but it’s the most immediate one, and I think it’s a very good solution that we’re presented with right now,” said Burton

Rothschild has agreed to do further testing to make sure their mitigation efforts worked and sent in new test samples Wednesday. Olsen anticipates those results to come back in about two weeks, as that is the time the previous tests took to complete. Right now, they aren’t recommending any changes to people’s water usage.

Earlier this month, the governor announced funding for municipalities to test their water for PFAS compounds. Olsen said there is not a way to apply for those funds at this point, but has been directed by the state to keep track of the village’s costs related to testing and mitigation to potentially have those costs reimbursed.

Olsen will brief the village’s water commission Monday evening during its regularly scheduled meeting.

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