Results from Dane County's "Suck the Muck" initiative

Published: Oct. 31, 2018 at 5:30 PM CDT
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Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced some results Wednesday from the first phase of the county's "Suck the Muck" initiative.

The four-year initiative aims to protect Dane County's lakes and waterways from phosphorous and other chemicals by removing sediment from creeks and streams. The county has identified 33 miles of streams with sediment that needs removal.

So far, the county has removed 11,000 tons of sediment -- containing 75,000 pounds of phosphorous -- from a nearly three-mile stretch of Dorn Creek in Waunakee.

"We’ve just taken 75,000 pounds of phosphorous that was in the water, making itself available to the plants there, creating the root cause of the challenges we have, and that will no longer be in the system and available to escape into the waterways," Parisi said.

The sediment in Dorn Creek was three to four feet deep -- almost twice as deep as expected. After the sediment was removed, it was disposed of on county land.

"It filled in a big pit, and that will be dried up and covered up, and it will be seeded in prairie, and that will now become a prairie, so we’re creating wildlife habitat there as well as sequestering the phosphorous that’s in the sediment, so that it will no longer enter into the streams," Parisi said.

Parisi also said he hopes removing the sediment will help restore the natural wildlife and habitat in the area.