Numerous municipalities have hit a state deadline on dealing with radium in water . Steve Sisbach with the DNR Bureau of Law Enforcement says radium was indentified as a problem in the early 1980s; "people exposed to drinking water that contains radium, over time have a greater risk of developing bone cancer."
DNR water supply engineer Norm Hahn says a variety of methods — none of them inexpensive — are available to remove radium from well water. "We ask the affected communities to hire a consultant and present their solutions to us," says Hahn, whose agency then works with the communities to select the best alternative.
At this time, 29 water systems have failed to adequately address the radium problem, and could face fines. Municipalities that still need improvement include Johnson Creek, New Berlin, Tomah and Waukesha.