Sources or water in Winnebago County include surface water from the Fox and Wolf Rivers and their associated lakes, and ground water from sandstone, dolomite, and sand and gravel deposits. Surface water is hard and generally requires treatment, but is then suitable for municipal and most industrial uses. Pollution is only a local problem in the lakes and rivers, but algae are present in most of the lakes. Ground water in Winnebago County is hard to very hard, and dissolved iron is a problem in a large area of the county. A saline-water zone borders the eastern edge of the county and underlies the areas of concentrated pumpage at Neenah-Menasha and Oshkosh.
A thick, southeastward-dipping sandstone aquifer, yielding as much as 1,000 gallons per minute to municipal and industrial wells, underlies Winnebago County. A dolomite aquifer in the eastern and southern part of the county yields as much as 50 gallons per minute to wells. Sand and gravel layers and lenses in preglacial bedrock channels, in northwestern Winnebago County and in the upper Fox River valley, yield as much as 50 gallons per minute to wells. Present water problems in the county include algae and local pollution in the Lake Winnebago Pool, iron in water from the sandstone aquifer, and saline ground Water in the eastern part of the county. Potential problems include rapid decline of water levels because of interference between closely spaced wells, migration of saline ground water toward areas of pumping, surface-water pollution from inadequate sewage and industrial-waste process plants, and ground-water pollution in dolomite formations.
Development of the water resources of the county should follow a comprehensive plan which takes into consideration all aspects of water use. Dispersal of wells, especially extending toward the west from the heavily pumped Neenah-Menasha and Oshkosh areas, is recommended to reduce water-level declines and to avoid saline water. Supplemental use of ground water is recmmended for municipal expansion of water facilities and to reduce the algae treatment problem of water from the Lake Winnebago Pool.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Geology and water resources of Winnebago County, Wisconsin