Two Combined Sessions
PFAS Pollution: What is it and why do we care?
Speaker: Paul Matthewson
PFAS contamination is an important water pollution issue in Wisconsin. In this presentation, we provide an overview of this issue. We cover what PFAS are, where they come from, and where they are being found in Wisconsin's waters. We summarize the existing science on how these chemicals affect public health and the environment, as well as some of the potential economic impacts of this pollution. Finally, we briefly review what is being done in Wisconsin to address this problem.
Salty Streams, Formerly Freshwater Lakes and Over-salting Solutions
Speaker: Allison Madison
Chloride, a component of road and water softener salt, is toxic to aquatic organisms. Dissolved chloride cannot feasibly be removed from freshwater so salt is a permanent pollutant. Currently, over 40 Wisconsin waterbodies are impaired by high chloride concentrations. While chloride levels spike during snowmelt events when deicing salt-laden water runs off and infiltrates these systems, elevated concentrations in groundwater mean levels now remain high year-round. The best way to protect the environment is to reduce the amount of salt that is used in the first place by engaging in Salt Wise practices.