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Dane County Awards Contract for Next Phase of “Suck the Muck” Project, Will Begin Work at Token Creek this Summer

June 04, 2019
Ariana Vruwink (608) 267-8823
County Executive

Today, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced that Petersen Companies, Inc. will be awarded the contract to begin Dane County’s next phase of Suck the Muck, taking place at Token Creek later this summer. The contract totals almost $1 million and will further Dane County’s goal of removing algae-making phosphorus from the Yahara Chain of Lakes system. The stretch of creek is nearly 1-mile long and contains areas of muck removal up to seven feet deep. It is estimated that approximately 20,000 tons (or about 1,500 dump truck loads of material) will be removed from this section of Token Creek.

“We are excited to begin this next phase of Suck the Muck at Token Creek so we can continue to improve the overall health of area lakes and streams,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “Dane County values its natural resources, and continuing our Suck the Muck initiative means more opportunities to clean up surrounding waterways so they can be enjoyed for many years to come.”

Suck the Muck is a $12 million initiative introduced by Parisi in his 2017 budget and implemented by the Dane County Department of Land and Water Resources that initially prioritized 33 miles of streams countywide for analysis of potential sediment (muck) removal. The sediment found in these streams is estimated to be up to 125 years old and contain 870,000 pounds of phosphorus, which can increase the frequency and extent of hazardous algae blooms. It is hoped that work from Suck the Muck will also improve the natural reproduction and diversity of fish populations.

Along with sediment removal, this 0.8-mile stretch of Token Creek will receive habitat enhancements to help prevent future erosion and nutrient loading that can negatively impact water quality. Several boulders and root wads will be placed in the creek, along with two rock deflector zones. 375 feet of riprap bank protection will be added to the area. Token Creek is the only cold water trout fishery in northeast Dane County, and many of these enhancements will benefit this particular section of stream.

Last year, Dane County reached completion on its first phase of “Suck the Muck,” taking place at Dorn Creek. 11,000 tons of phosphorus-soaked sediment was removed from the site, spanning nearly three miles. The tonnage contained roughly 75,000 pounds of phosphorus, a major contributor to algae growth in area lakes. Three to four feet of sediment was removed from the 2.7-mile stretch, up to twice as much as initially anticipated. The stream was also re-meandered to its historical location and the banks were stabilized to prevent future erosion.

The $985,550 contract being awarded to Petersen Companies, Inc. for the next phase of “Suck the Muck” will go before the County Board at Thursday’s meeting for final approval. Dane County’s Land and Water Resources Department is expected to secure permitting in the coming weeks, with work anticipated to begin in July.

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