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Officials announce project to clean up local waterways

Published On: Nov 18 2013 08:07:32 PM CST

MADISON, Wis. -

Dane County leaders talked about new efforts to keep storm water runoff from ruining local lakes Monday.

The plan would cost $1.4 million and targets Willow Creek on the west end of campus near the Natatorium, because thousands of pounds of sediment builds up there every year.

County officials announced seven projects that will keep pollutants out of Willow Creek and a handful of other waterways before it dumps into places like Lake Mendota.

“When these are all completed, we expect that annually these projects will result in 70,000 fewer pounds of debris and 1,000 fewer pounds of phosphorus entering our chain of lakes on an annual basis,” Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said. “So these are the types of investments that we need to make in order to make sure that we’re cleaning our lakes in the long term, addressing not only phosphorus but the sediment and the heavy metals and the other pollutants that come through our waterways.”

The sediment is so bad at Willow Creek that it’s even formed its own island from everything that runs off the streets and into Dane County’s lakes.

The project will be paid for through an Urban Water Quality grant.

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