Lake technology helps Yahara waters

Dane County Algae Vacuum

Clean Lakes Alliance applauds Dane County lake project

Clean Lakes Alliance is excited to share news about Dane County’s continued focus on improving water quality. In early July, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi, in conjunction with the Dane County Land and Water Resources Department, unveiled new lake technology.

The vacuum will remove algal scum, filamentous algae, floating aquatic plants, and trash from the water. The lake technology pulls water and algae scum at the surface, which discharge into filter bags. The debris-free water flows back into the lake and the algae and decaying plants will remain trapped inside.

New Dane County lake technology - in-lake algae vacuum
Dane County’s in-lake algae vacuum

This new tool will give beaches in our area the opportunity to be cleaner than they have been in the past. With high temperatures and more people using the lakes during COVID-19, this new technology will help keep beaches safe and healthy.

Long-time Clean Lakes Alliance committee participant and honorary research scientist for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Limnology, Richard Lathrop, said this technology is a great boost to cleaner shorelines and beaches in the Yahara lakes.

“We’ve noticed for years that noxious floating material, particularly toxic cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) scums, can temporarily accumulate at beaches. It can also become trapped behind piers or floating shoreline structures such as booms.”

Richard Lathrop
University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Limnology

Lathrop added, “If deemed practical and feasible, an expanded lake clean up program could be implemented even with strategically deployed floating booms to trap and remove floating debris. I am very excited about this possibility!”

Goodland County Park Beach
Goodland County Park Beach
Courtesy, Robert Bertera

Dane County project update

Token Creek - Suck the Muck

Suck the Muck

The County’s project at Token Creek is nearly complete! 20,000 tons of material was removed to improve water flow. Watch the video.

Yahara River Dredging

Yahara River Dredging

The sediment removal project is underway in an area of the Yahara River between the Beltline Highway and Upper Mud Lake. Watch the video.

Pheasant Branch Restoration Sign

Pheasant Branch Restoration

The County continues to work on restoring piece of land purchased last fall. Hear from Dane County Executive Joe Parisi at our upcoming August Yahara Lakes 101 on what the County has done, and what it will do next. Register for this free presentation.

Find your beach forecast

LakeForecast Icon

Clean Lakes Alliance reports all beach conditions and closings through its LakeForecast App. Free to download in both the Apple and Android app stores, LakeForecast takes information from volunteer monitors at more than 70 points around all five lakes. The twice-weekly readings provide lake users with water clarity, temperature, and other visual observations.

Read about some of the projects Clean Lakes Alliance has been working on recently.

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