Lower East Branch Pecatonica River PWS Plan - Nine Key Element Plan

Purpose

The Lower East Branch of the Pecatonica River Watershed drains 145 square miles of land in the Green and Lafayette counties in southern Wisconsin. The watershed is part of the Sugar-Pecatonica River Basin. The Pecatonica River is a tributary of Sugar River which in turn contributes flow to the Rock River drainage system. Land use in the watershed is mainly agricultural and is currently dominated by dairy farming. The watershed population is small - approximately 2,800 people. Most of the watershed population lives outside incorporated areas, in small enclaves of residential development or on farmsteads. The Lower East Branch Pecatonica River Priority Watershed Project plan assesses the nonpoint sources of pollution in the Lower East Branch Pecatonica River Watershed and guides the implementation of nonpoint source control measures. These control measures are needed to meet specific water resource objectives for the Lower East Branch Pecatonica River and its tributaries. The purpose of this project is to reduce the amount of pollutants originating from nonpoint sources that reach surface water and groundwater within the Lower East Branch Pecatonica River Priority Watershed Project area.

Objective

The primary objective of the project is to reduce nonpoint source pollution to the surface water and groundwater, and to enhance and protect the water quality of streams in the Lower East Branch Pecatonica River Watershed. The following is a summary of reductions to be targeted for the entire watershed: 1) Upland sediment erosion: reduction goal of 25% of sediment. 2) Gully erosion: control gullies producing over 30 tons sediment/site/year. 3) Barnyard runoff: reduction goal of 60% of phosphorus load. 4) Winterspreading of manure: reduction goal of 50% of the critical acres spread. 5) Streambank erosion: reduction goal of 40% sediment delivered to streams and 25% overall repair of bank habitat. 6) Wetlands: restoration of 30% of degraded wetlands.

Outcome

The Lower East Branch of the Pecatonica River supports diverse warm water fisheries, and the upland watershed contains over 100 miles of cold water streams including 49 miles of classified trout waters. The streams are not reaching their highest potential use due to pollution from nonpoint sources. Eroding croplands and streambanks and improperly managed livestock operations are the major sources of pollution in the watershed. An inventory of groundwater quality was done in conjunction with the animal lot inventories. Results show that of the 279 well samples collected, 22% had nitrate levels over the enforcement standard of 10 milligrams per liter and 55% had nitrate levels between 2-10 milligrams per liter. These nitrate levels are significant - landowners will be offered a follow-up test for nitrate and a triazine test if their wells had nitrate levels over 10 milligrams per liter. Landowners with nitrate levels between 2-10 milligrams per liter will be offered a follow-up nitrate test.

Study Design

http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/nonpoint/documents/9kep/expired/LowerEastPecatonica.pdf

Related Reports

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Water Quality Planning
Priority Watershed Plan
NKE58
1992
Complete
 
Reports and Documents
The Lower East Branch Pecatonica River Priority Watershed Project plan assesses the nonpoint sources of pollution in the Lower East Branch Pecatonica River Watershed and guides the implementation of nonpoint source control measures. These control measures are needed to meet specific water resource objectives for the Lower East Branch Pecatonica River and its tributaries. The purpose of this project is to reduce the amount of pollutants originating from nonpoint sources that reach surface water and groundwater within the Lower East Branch Pecatonica River Priority Watershed Project area. https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/nonpoint/documents/9kep/expired/LowerEastPecatonica.pdf
 
Activities & Recommendations
ATTAINS Alternative Restoration Approach
Lower East Branch Pecatonica River PWS Plan - Nine Key Element Plan - The Lower East Branch Pecatonica River Priority Watershed Project plan assesses the nonpoint sources of pollution in the Lower East Branch Pecatonica River Watershed and guides the implementation of nonpoint source control measures. These control measures are needed to meet specific water resource objectives for the Lower East Branch Pecatonica River and its tributaries. The purpose of this project is to reduce the amount of pollutants originating from nonpoint sources that reach surface water and groundwater within the Lower East Branch Pecatonica River Priority Watershed Project area.
Nine Key Element Plan
Lower East Branch Pecatonica River PWS Plan - Nine Key Element Plan - The Lower East Branch Pecatonica River Priority Watershed Project plan assesses the nonpoint sources of pollution in the Lower East Branch Pecatonica River Watershed and guides the implementation of nonpoint source control measures. These control measures are needed to meet specific water resource objectives for the Lower East Branch Pecatonica River and its tributaries. The purpose of this project is to reduce the amount of pollutants originating from nonpoint sources that reach surface water and groundwater within the Lower East Branch Pecatonica River Priority Watershed Project area.
 
Watershed
 
Waters