Ken Genskow and Carolyn Rumery Betz (UW-Extension Environmental Resources Center) prepared this June 2012 report for the Dane County Office of Lakes and Watersheds, funded by a Wisconsin DNR Lake Planning Grant. The report compares responses from two surveys conducted with 62 farm operators before and after implementation of the Lake Mendota Priority Watershed project.
rural polluted runoff
The primary concerns in the Yahara Watershed are sedimentation, excess nutrient loading leading to algae and aquatic plant growth, decreased water clarity, stream channelization (straightening), and streambank erosion. Other issues included low dissolved oxygen concentrations and thermal loading issues from urbanized areas.
What is Polluted Runoff?
Runoff is water that falls in the form of snow or rain and instead of sinking into the ground, runs off the land to a lower spot. If that water comes into contact with dirt or other contaminants along the way, it becomes polluted.