2015 City of Fitchburg Water Quality Update

A message from Steve Arnold, the Mayor of Fitchburg, for the 2015 State of the Lakes Annual Report: 

Steve Arnold, Mayor of Fitchburg

Steve Arnold, Mayor of Fitchburg

Fitchburg is at the headwaters of seven different creek systems. While we don’t have any Yahara lakes within our boundaries, we’re been learning and teaching our residents that our stormwater runoff has a direct and lasting impact on the Yahara lakes. We recognize that the chain of lakes is one of our region’s most valuable natural assets, and that we have a responsibility to keep our water clean, for ourselves and our downstream neighbors.

To uphold this responsibility, Fitchburg has adopted some of the highest water quality performance standards in the state for new development and redevelopment. We have been working to identify and implement new stormwater practices, while refreshing and maintaining current practices with the intent of cleaning our water even more.

We’ve been a strong proponent of the Yahara WINs Adaptive Management program with Clean Lakes Alliance and over thirty other partners over the past several years, which has shown that groups from different backgrounds and viewpoints can work collaboratively on the common goal of achieved ‘clean water’ for our region.

Urban Actions taken by the City of Fitchburg in 2015:

City of Fitchburg Water Quality Harlan Hills East Pond

City of Fitchburg Harlan Hills East Pond

In 2015, Fitchburg dredged over 10,000 cubic yards of soil out of the Harlan Hills East and Ashbourne ponds to enlarge them for enhanced water quantity control and water quality improvement. Fitchburg is in the process of converting the current non-native vegetation to native vegetation for improved habitat for wildlife.

Fitchburg also applied for and received five grants in 2015 for stormwater projects to be built in 2016, from Dane County, Yahara WINs and DNR grant programs. These projects are within the Nine Springs Creek watershed, which drains to Upper Mud Lake and Lake Waubesa. Nine Springs Creek is currently listed as impaired for phosphorus and sediment and these projects will be critical in restoring it.

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