High strontium levels found in eastern Wisconsin groundwater

Jan. 21, 2014

MADISON, Wis. — A study by the University of Wisconsin Water Resources Institute found strontium in 73 out of 115 samples.

MADISON, Wis. — A report released last week by the University of Wisconsin Water Resources Institute reported that well water tests in northeastern Wisconsin have found high levels of natural strontium in 73 out of 115 samples, according to an article by the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.

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Strontium is just one of many contaminants possibly present in eastern Wisconsin groundwater, including arsenic, bacteria and nitrates, the article noted.

John Luczaj, an associate professor in the Department of Natural and Applied Sciences at the University of Wisconsin advised that families with young children who are using deep wells in eastern Wisconsin should have their drinking water tested for strontium at least once, reported the article.

Strontium dissolves naturally out of bedrock, and although this is not the radioactive strontium byproduct of nuclear energy and nuclear weapons testing, it can affect infants and young children with a disease called strontium rickets, causing bone deformities, if ingested.

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"Deformities of the long bones in legs, such as bow-leg and knock knee deformities, can cause lifelong problems with walking," said the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Read the full article here.

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