Wisconsinites encouraged to apply for Well Compensation, Well Abandonment Programs

By Emily Ness

MADISON (WKOW) -- If you are the owner of a private well in Wisconsin, the DNR wants you to apply for its new Well Compensation and Well Abandonment Programs.

"The Well Compensation and the Well Abandonment programs are just another piece of the puzzle when it comes to doing our part to protect the people of the state of Wisconsin," Preston Cole, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said.

Wisconsin has had programs to help well owners in the past, but officials say these new programs give people a much better shot at getting funding because they have updated several eligibility requirements.

Democratic Representative Katrina Shankland, who represents Stevens Point, says one of the biggest changes in eligibility requirements falls under the household income limit. That has increased from under $60,000 a year to under $100,000 a year.

"That threshold has not been raised since 1995, and with inflation especially, we know the cost of a well is going to be significant and so it's very important that we expand access to folks," Shankland said.

Between both programs, there is $10 million of funding to be distributed. It comes from the American Rescue Plan. Applications will be accepted until all $10 million in funding has run out.

If you are eligible, work covered includes replacement, reconstruction, treatment or abandonment of your well.