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Save Lake Waubesa from proposed development -- Jeff Hodgson
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Save Lake Waubesa from proposed development -- Jeff Hodgson

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The State Journal recently republished its 1934 editorial "Attack the Lake Waubesa menace." The lake was being fouled by the sewage effluent that was dumped into it.

Since then, a huge public huge investment has been made to clean up the lake. But it will all be wasted if a proposed development in Fitchburg is allowed to endanger its waters once again.

In 1959, the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District created a pipe and ditch to carry its effluent south to Bad Fish Creek, which empties into the Rock River. In this way, the nutrients and sediments bypass our lakes.

In the '60s and '70s, as more people started living throughout the year in their summer cottages around Lake Waubesa, septic systems began to leak, and the resulting nutrients caused algae blooms to increase.

In the late '70s, the town of Dunn installed sewer lines along the shoreline, and the lake started to recover.

Fitchburg, which already has 1,126 empty acres of developable land within its Urban Service Area, is asking the Capital Area Regional Planning Commission for permission to develop its "Northeast Neighborhood," which drains into Lake Waubesa via Swan Creek. The commission should say no to this proposal, which would endanger our lake's health and nullify all the public investment that has been made in it.

-- Jeff Hodgson, Madison, president, Lake Waubesa Neighborhood Association

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