Nelsonville clean water advocate receives Wisconsin Wildlife Federation award
By Gazette staff
PORTAGE COUNTY – Lisa Anderson, of Nelsonville, was recently named Water Conservationist of the Year by the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation.
Anderson received the award on April 15 at a banquet held at the Hotel Mead in Wisconsin Rapids.
“Lisa’s safe-water leadership journey began in 2018 when a friend collected water samples from the wells of 18 Nelsonville homes, only to find that half had unsafe nitrate levels. Nitrate risks, according to health agencies, include methemoglobinemia, thyroid disease, colon cancer, and birth defects,” her nomination paper read.
Her work also included advocating with fellow citizens for groundwater monitoring to determine if zones of low nitrate water might exist beneath Nelsonville.
The Portage County Board recently approved installation of seven monitoring wells using federal COVID relief funds.
“She and fellow citizens have attended monthly Land and Water Conservation Committee meetings despite sometimes being dismissed and disrespected by committee members. Lisa and fellow citizens’ efforts were important in the Department of Natural Resources mandate for the concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) dairy near Nelsonville to install groundwater monitoring wells in fields to assess nitrate losses from that source,” a Portage County for Clean Water release stated.
“Lisa has facilitated and kept a database for a quarterly private well sampling program in Nelsonville, funded by the village. She has kindly helped residents inside and outside of Nelsonville access state well replacement funds. She has reached out to others struggling with groundwater contamination elsewhere in the state.”