DNR: More Than 200 Lakes, Rivers Added To Impaired Waters List

List Includes Nearly 1,300 Bodies Of Water Statewide

Wisconsin lake
Joshua Mayer (CC-BY-SA)

Officials with the state Department of Natural Resources said they have identified more than 200 additional waterbodies in Wisconsin that are impaired, with the main culprit being phosphorus pollution.

Every couple of years, DNR officials assess more Wisconsin rivers and lakes. Out of 2,400 completed reviews the last two years, officials said 209 waterbodies need restoration plans, bringing the total of impaired waters to nearly 1,300 statewide.

DNR water specialist Aaron Larson said phosphorus levels are dropping in many waterbodies, but still can’t meet tougher standards passed five years ago.

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“With these new standards being adopted, we’re now just identifying water bodies that don’t mean those standards based on new water quality data,” said Larson.

Phosphorus pollution mainly comes from soil runoff or sewage treatment plants.

DNR officials are proposing to remove 10 water bodies from the impaired list. The DNR will hold a webinar on its proposal next Tuesday.