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   Water Quality


Monitoring Station
In 1995 the Water Quality Monitoring Station was installed on Dutch Creek. The station automatically collects water samples during runoff events. The samples are analyzed for total suspended solids and total phosphorus.

One of the most significant events in the history of the Dutch Creek Monitoring Station occurred in 2008. On the weekend of June 7 and 8, 2008, the watershed was hit by a series of four storm events, roughly 8-10 hours apart. Each rainfall contributed about 1.5" of rain, for a total of about 6" over the weekend. Leading up to this weekend, the soils were already fairly saturated with almost 2" of rain in the 8 days prior. These were the rain events that also resulted in the breach and failure of Lake Delton, and widespread flooding in Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois.  MORE...

Adams Creek Monitoring
The Department has been sampling Adams Creek regularly since 2001, and has used dissolved oxygen probes to continuously measure the dissolved oxygen level in the water since 2002. Much of the streambank stabilization and fencing work was done in 2003 and a storage pit for manure and feedlot runoff was installed in 2006 and 2007. Money for these projects came from a DNR Targeted Resource Management Grant and the County's Environmental Fund.

The highlight of the data is the improvement in dissolved oxygen levels. Figure 6 shows the dramatic improvement in 2008 D.O. levels compared to 2002. The County goal for dissolved oxygen is 5 mg/L.  MORE...

County Wide Monitoring
Since 1998, the Land Conservation Department has sampled 28 streams at 35 individual sites in the county on a regular basis (the larger streams are sampled in 2 locations). Sampling is done only at base flow conditions – at a time when it hasn't rained for at least 3 days prior to sampling. Samples are analyzed for fecal coliform bacteria and total phosphorus.

Fish Kill
An intense rain in September of 2007, combined with poor manure management practices resulted in a significant fish kill in La Crosse County. The data we gathered showed that the cause of the fish kill flowed down the creek several hours after the flow returned to normal. The source of manure was from a heifer feeding operation on top of a bluff at the headwaters. The manure traveled about 1.5 miles down the hill and through a pasture before it reached the stream.  MORE...