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Dane County program to hand out $1.4 million for clean-water projects

Dane County is accepting applications from local governments for a program that aims to provide money for projects that would help clean up urban runoff pollution.

County Executive Joe Parisi announced on Monday that the county has again begun accepting applications for its Urban Water Quality Grant Program. In all, the program will award $1.4 million this year for the construction of storm water management facilities.

Projects that fall in areas discharging the highest amounts of sediment and phosphorus-laden debris — such as yard or pet waste — into a body of water are eligible for a grant that would cover 75 percent of all costs. Projects outside of these targeted areas could receive money that would cover 50 percent of their costs.

The stormwater basins that would be built with this money capture trash and debris, such as yard or pet waste, from urban areas. This debris would otherwise wash directly into area lakes and streams during heavy rain or snow melts, according to a news release from Parisi’s office.

“By working together with local communities we are able get more done and stop more pollutants from getting into our waters,” Parisi said in the release.

Phosphorous is the main culprit for algae growth in area lakes. According to the release, every pound of phosphorus removed from the county’s watershed prevents 500 pounds of algae from growing.

To be considered for a grant, projects must be scheduled to finish by the end of 2017. The deadline for initial applications is July 31.

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