Drinking water wells test positive for E. Coli; Scott Michalak (D) holds Rep. Joel Kleefisch (R) to account

Residents of Assembly District 38 are worried about the safety of their drinking water. Last Thursday, Francine Langlais of Sullivan, Wisconsin, was informed by the Water & Environmental Analysis Lab at UW-Stevens Point that her drinking water is contaminated with E. Coli and she was advised to “start boiling water or buying water,” she said. On Monday afternoon, Scott Michalak, Democratic candidate for Assembly District 38, took Joel Kleefisch (R) to task on the issue.

Since Rep. Joel Kleefisch (R) was the legislator who was found to have lobbied the DNR to let Herr Environmental off the hook after the company dumped high levels of human waste near the drinking water wells (story here) it makes sense that he should be held to account.

Said Michalak, “It appears now that the contamination problem is even larger than the 40 wells that may have been originally contaminated because this new well found with the E. Coli virus is on the other side of the highway from the original area in the Golden Park Circle subdivision.”

Michalak wants Rep. Kleefisch to pay for the testing of the affected wells so residents don’t have to pay for it themselves, so they’ll know if their water is safe to drink, and so something can be done to rectify the problem. Michalak issued a statement to Representative Kleefisch:

Mr. Kleefisch, I think that since you don’t think Mr.Herr should have to pay for testing of these wells, that you should pay for them yourself.


I also believe that  Mrs.Stepp and Mr.Gunderson should resign their positions with the DNR, effective immediately. There is no place for in-house judgments from people that received campaign contributions from Mr. Herr himself. This, at a minimum, is a conflict of interest and possible ethics violation. Furthermore, I believe this incident and further investigation should be turned over to the Department of Justice immediately.

Here’s hoping Michalak and the residents of Assembly District 38 will be heard.

This isn’t a third-world country. Allowing political donors to pollute the drinking water of Wisconsinites without repercussions is unacceptable. Leaving residents to test their own drinking wells and boil or buy drinking water because of it is ridiculous.

This is NOT the Wisconsin Way.


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16 thoughts on “Drinking water wells test positive for E. Coli; Scott Michalak (D) holds Rep. Joel Kleefisch (R) to account

  1. Aunt Bee, Scott Michalak just sent out the press release a few minutes ago; I’ll update this post if/when Rep. Kleefisch responds-thanks.

  2. It is not the old Wisconsin way. It is the new Fitzwalkerstan pay to play way. Has the MJS noticed this?

  3. I am sure the Rep misspoke when he referred to the E Coli virus as it is a bacterium. If there was an E Coli virus I still wouldn’t want it in my drinking water.

    1. The Rep probably got that idea from someone using the word virulent with E.Coli. E.Coli is a species of bacteria and is part of the normal flora ( bacteria ) in the gut. However there are serotypes of E. Coli however within the species that are highly virulent ( Extremely infectious ). If the E.Coli is one of these serotypes you’ll see a lot of sick people.

      It’s a disgrace that our government seems to have forgotten that their job is to regulate businesses and protect the citizenry.

      I’m so looking forward to the day that Walker is taken out of his office in handcuffs.

      In the mean time I’ll be joining the citizens audit of the recall election to assure integrity in our election process. If you have not heard of this effort I suggest your check out the Wisconsin Wave’s website and join us in counting or contributing monetarily to the effort if you can. http://wisconsinwave.org/handcount

      One Day Longer!

  4. I am not at all surprised that Kleefisch is at the center of this, any one who would vote on the machine that belongs to others and then covers the window so people can’t see in. And look at who he is married to and what position she holds so who is to say honey Kleefisch didn’t tell baby boy Kleefisch from Walker’s desk.

  5. I used to be able to admire Wisconsin for having a long-standing tradition of good government. Now, Wisconsinites can’t even trust their government to ensure that their drinking water is safe.

  6. Political Fodder: some types of E. Coli are very dangerous, but most are harmless intestinal flora, as you say. But even the harmless E. Coli are red flags for fecal contamination. If water has E. Coli, it has traces of feces, which means it might have other, dangerous bacteria, or viruses like hepatitis.

    When the authorities find ANY E. Coli in a water supply, they issue an emergency boil water notice — because it’s a marker for serious problems.

    1. E. coli is just the latest find. From WSJ, May 7, 2012: “Wastewater specialist David Bolha, the lead investigator, said he and other agency staff feared potential threats to public health, including possibly dangerous levels of nitrates in wells. Elevated nitrates levels can cause a potentially fatal blood disorder in infants called blue-baby syndrome.”

      Read more: http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/environment/article_07a64834-96e3-11e1-b4c6-0019bb2963f4.html#ixzz20tNxbd00

  7. This is what happens when you have republicans running the state. Sorry to say it will only get worse.

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