Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and Rep. Shankland visit UW-Stevens Point

By Angela Kim, WJFW

STEVENS POINT - The Northwoods enjoys one of the highest concentrations of fresh water lakes in the entire world, yet many people across the state worry the water coming out of their faucets could be dirty.

Gov. Tony Evers is addressing that by calling 2019 the 'Year of Clean Drinking Water.'


Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and Rep. Katrina Shankland visited UW-Stevens Point Monday as part of that project. They toured water testing facilities on the campus to talk about how the statewide issue can be solved.

Barnes and Shankland also announced a new plan to help private well owners keep their water safe.

"That's why I've introduced bi-partisan legislation to create a first of its kind for [a] private well testing program that would provide grants to local governments to help homeowners test their private wells, so they can know what's in their drinking water," said Shankland.

Shankland's bill also increases how much money the state gives to homeowners to hook up to clean drinking water.

Barnes thinks Republicans will support the bill because clean drinking water is important for everyone.

"It is a wise investment," said Barnes. "I don't think there are too many people would see a problem with us making sure that we're prioritizing health and safety. Everybody drinks water every day. If you don't you should. Eight glasses. Well, we want to make sure those Eight glasses are free of contaminants."
The UW-SP water labs test water in 16 different counties.

Barnes and Shankland both want this kind of science to lead the way to clean water solutions.