Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

County Looking to Partner With Local Governments to Reduce Urban Runoff Pollution in Lakes

August 12, 2013
Casey Slaughter Becker, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8833 or cell (608) 843-8858
County Executive



$1.5 Million Available to Improve Top Producing Stormwater Runoff Pipelines

The county is accepting applications from local governments for its Urban Water Quality Grant Program, a partnership that helps reduce urban runoff pollution from fouling area lakes, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced today.


“The county wants to partner with municipalities to improve old storm drain outlets that dump untreated water and litter into our lakes,” said Parisi.  “By working together we can prevent thousands of pounds of  sediment and phosphorus from fouling our waterways and make a bigger impact than we can by acting alone.”


The grants help build stormwater sediment basins to capture trash and phosphorus-laden debris such as yard or pet waste  from urban areas that otherwise wash directly into lakes and streams when it rains.  The basins capture the debris by giving it an area to ‘settle out’, preventing it from entering the water, and allowing for safe disposal at a later time.  Phosphorus is the main culprit that leads to smelly, unsightly lakes. 


For the first time ever, municipalities that contain one of the county’s top ten pipelines that discharge large amounts of sediment and phosphorus into lakes will be eligible to receive a 75% cost share to address their runoff.


Other municipalities with eligible projects that will also make a difference could receive a 50% cost share from the county if their application is approved.  A total of $1.5 million is available for this year’s grants through the county’s Land and Water Legacy Fund.


Since 2005, the county’s Urban Water Quality grants have helped fund projects totaling more than $5.3 million dollars that are estimated to have removed more than 400,000 pounds of debris since that time, and more than 760 pounds of phosphorus annually. 


One pound of phosphorus removed from the county’s watershed prevents 500 pounds of algae growth in area lakes.


Funding criteria and application information are available from Jeremy Balousek in the Dane County Land and Water Resources Department, 608.224.3747 or


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