New lakes cleanup effort approved in Dane County - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

New lakes cleanup effort approved in Dane County

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DANE COUNTY (WKOW) -- Dane County approved a new project Thursday aimed at better maintaining local lakes.

The project will convert the East Towne detention basin near East Towne Mall in Madison into a wet pond. Officials hope the pond will help keep at least 80,000 pounds of sediment out of the lakes, and filter out nearly 200 pounds of phosphorus. Phosphorus is harmful to lakes because it invites algae, which blocks sunlight from water plants and take dissolved oxygen from aquatic animals. 

Dane County will fund the majority of construction costs for the reconstruction of East Towne Pond.The money comes from the “Urban Water Quality Grant Program,” which assists with projects aimed at cleaning up urban runoff pollution in area waters. The project will cost $820,000 with the county paying $615,000 for the effort and the city paying the difference.

“There is no one solution to cleaning up our lakes,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “Our lakes are irreplaceable and cleaning them up will help our children enjoy our lakes for generations to come.”

The grants are available to help local communities construct storm water management facilities. The basins capture trash and phosphorus-laden debris such as yard or pet waste from urban areas that would otherwise wash directly into area lakes and streams during heavy rains or snow melt. More than $1 million is available to communities through the grant program this year. 

Since starting the grant program in 2005, Dane County has helped fund more than 60 projects countywide. These projects have stopped more than 800,000 pounds of garbage and pollutants from flowing into lades, including more than 3,000 pounds of phosphorus every year. Every pound of phosphorus removed from the county’s watershed prevents 500 pounds of algae from growing.

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