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‘Suck the Muck’ project gears up for next phase of waterway dredging

Posted on August 24, 2022

A popular initiative looking to clean up the waterways in Dane County is moving into its next phase.

The “Suck the Muck” project was first introduced in 2017 as a way to analyze and remove sediments — or muck — from local streams that contain phosphorus. The chemical is a common culprit behind hazardous algae blooms that grow on Madison’s lakes.

“One pound of phosphorous can equal up to 500 pounds of algae,” WHO said. “That’s just from one pound of it dissolved in the water.”

During the next phase of the dredging project, crews will work to clean up the Sixmile Creek, which feeds into Lake Mendota. County officials said they expect to dredge roughly 25,000 tons of material, including an estimated 60,000 pounds of phosporus.

Since the initiative began, 31,000 tons of sediment containing over 100,000 pounds of phosphorus have been removed.

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