Clean lakes are closer to reality
Clean lakes are closer to reality.
The Clean Lakes Alliance this week released its annual “State of the Lakes” report, tracking water pollution and clarity in the Yahara chain of lakes that includes Mendota, Monona, Wingra, Waubesa and Kegonsa.
Madison and surrounding communities prevented 13,600 pounds of phosphorus from reaching the lakes last year.
That’s a substantial improvement from the 8,200 pounds diverted in 2015.
And it’s 29 percent of the way to meeting the alliance’s goal of cutting phosphorus in half by 2025, which will require 46,200 pounds of prevention.
Manure, leaves and soil washing off farms, lawns and construction sites in the Madison region feed the growth of stinky, soupy algae that fouls lake water and beaches.
Just one pound of nutrient-rich phosphorus can produce 500 pounds of algae.
So stopping as much as possible from reaching the water’s edge can dramatically improve lake conditions.
With personal visits to homes, DeForest officials have convinced more residents to keep leaves out of village streets so they don’t wash into storm sewers.
Farmers are doing a better job of safely storing manure and planting buffers between fields and streams.