What You Can Do

Adopt-A-Storm Drain Program

The City of Middleton is now partnering with Dane County in the Adopt-A-Storm Drain Program.  Click here to learn more!

Report an Illicit Discharge

An illicit discharge is any discharge of a potentially polluting substance directly or through stormwater that reaches a municipal storm sewer, drainage way, wetland, waterbody or groundwater. 

Examples of potential water pollution or illicit discharges:

  • Cleaning paint containers or brushes outside
  • Grease or other substances leaking from a dumpster
  • Oil, chemical spills
  • Concrete washout water draining from a construction site
Dane County and local municipalities are asking residents and local businesses for help reporting potential pollution to our waters. 
 If you see something other than rain or snowmelt draining into a storm drain or into a local waterway, please report it using the following link.  

Grant Opportunities

DNR is now offering Healthy Lakes Grants to lake groups/associations and lakefront property owners. The purpose of the grant program is to help fund local projects around the state that focus on simple ways to improve fish habitat, integrate native plantings, divert and clean storm water runoff, and promote natural beauty.

Following are examples of simple projects, each capped at $1000 in state funding, that are included among the Healthy Lakes best practices:

  • Deployment of “Fish Sticks,” which may consist of whole downed trees stacked in a cluster and anchored to the shore either fully or partially submerged. Use of fish sticks prevents shoreline erosion while improving fish and wildlife habitat. On average, fish stick projects cost about $500 for a cluster of three to five downed trees.
  • Native Planting Installation Packages, which include plan designs and lists of suitable plants for areas at least 10 feet wide and covering a contiguous 350 square feet. Lake shore property owner preferences and site features will determine which packages – such as those developed to attract birds and butterflies or those for woodland plantings – would be most appropriate. When adopted by multiple homeowners, the plantings improve habitat, slow runoff and promote natural beauty. For a 350 square foot area, installed costs total about $1,000.
  • Diversion of Storm Water Runoff. By building small berms or shallow “dips,” homeowners can capture runoff from roads or paths and divert the water into an area where it can be infiltrated into the ground. On average, diversion practices cost about $200 installed.
  • Placement of Rock Infiltration Trenches, which can capture, store and infiltrate storm water runoff water into the ground where it is filtered and cleaned instead of flowing directly to the lake. Installed costs average $3,800.
  • Installation of Upland Rain Gardens, which can improve wildlife habitat while diverting and cleaning storm water runoff. When placed in upland areas near homes, rain gardens can collect roof, road and driveway runoff and prevent it from reaching a lake. While costs vary greatly depending on size and plantings, rain gardens average about $2,500 installed.

Healthy Lakes & Rivers grant applications are due November 1st each year.

More information and grant application is available at: Healthy Lakes website.

Road Salt Reduction

The use of de-icing salt on City streets sidewalks and parking lots is contributing to ever increasing levels of chlorides in the lakes. High chloride concentrations affect aquatic life adversely.

Following are a number of resource documents that explain how municipal street crews, private snow removal contractors, business owners and individuals can help reduce chlorides and save money by the smart application of de-icing salt.

For those who use Brine:

Be proactive and let people know ahead of time that applying brine before the storm is fine. Brine is purposely applied before a storm to prevent the formation of frost and bonding of snow and ice to the pavement, and it can be applied days before a forecasted storm. It's often applied on a sunny day to help the brine dry more quickly. Consider using one of attached photos showing brine (anti-icing) lines on the pavement.

Related Resources