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East Towne Mall runoff to be held in pond to help cleanup of local lakes

East Towne Mall runoff to be held in pond to help cleanup of local lakes

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A runoff water detention pond near East Towne Mall is being reconstructed to keep thousands of pounds of sediment and algae-producing phosphorus from Lake Monona.

Dane County has awarded $615,000 to the city of Madison for a project to convert the dry retention basin into a wet pond, which will have water in it year-round as it slowly drains into the east branch of Starkweather Creek and eventually into Lake Monona.

The pond collects runoff from the East Towne Mall area, which is 196 acres when all the parking lots, streets, outlying businesses and stores are accounted for.

The project is a continuation of efforts to keep sediment and phosphorus out of the big lakes in Madison.

“There is no one solution to cleaning up our lakes,” Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said in announcing the grant.

“Our lakes are irreplaceable and cleaning them up will help our children enjoy our lakes for generations to come,” Parisi said.

The grant comes from the county’s Urban Water Quality grant program, which started in 2005 and has $1.3 million available this year to communities for projects to keep pollution out of the lakes.

The total cost of the East Towne pond is $820,000. Dane County is paying about 75 percent of the cost and the city is paying the rest, as the grant program is designed for municipalities in the county’s top 10 target areas.

It is estimated the East Towne project alone will stop the flow of 80,000 pounds of sediment and 195 pounds of phosphorus from entering Lake Monona.

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