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Town Commitment

Untreated stormwater adversely impacts the entire Town. Persistent poor drainage problems and flash flooding as the result of heavy rain events, can be addressed through both local and regional initiatives. In many areas of the Algoma, grass swales (drainage easements installed as part of the subdivision development and ditches) serve as the primary means to move water to detention ponds. However, in some cases, property owners have taken it upon themselves to compromised the drainage easements and ditches dramatically reducing the flow of both surface and sump pump water. Algoma has a very flat topography, high water table, and is adjacent to Lake Butte des Morts that collectively impact the flow of water in each of the many watersheds. We ask each property owner to do their part and abide by the Town’s Code of Ordinances that address drainage easements and ditches in road right of ways as outlined below:

  • No person shall change the configuration of any ditch, swale or area designated for discharge of water.
  • No person shall plow, shovel, blow or place snow into any ditch or area designated for discharge of water.
  • No person shall place any mowed grass, brush, soil or debris into any ditch, swale or area designated for discharge of water.
  • No person shall add vegetation or solid material (landscaping) in any ditch, swale or are designated for discharge of water.
    Note: Algoma has a Work in Right of Way permit, if any resident would like to investigate and implement options to improve drainage on their respective parcel.

Operation and Maintenance

The Town of Algoma is required by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) to track long-term maintenance of stormwater management systems. Based on Town records, your parcel contains a privately-owned stormwater management system (e.g. detention pond, biofilter, etc.). As the landowner, you are responsible for inspecting and maintaining your stormwater management system. Below is a list of resources you as a landowner with stormwater infrastructure located on your property.

Value of Native Prairie & Aquatic Plants in Dry & Wet Ponds

Ponds are planted to provide a diverse ecosystem that enhances their look and function. For a list of functional values and services of prairies and aquatic plants, click here.

The prairie grasses are burned periodically to enhance the quality of the grasses and promotes an expansion of wildlife as noted below:

  • Reduces invasive species by directly killing or setting back the plants, by removing the spring top growth.
  • Increases flower/seed production of wildflowers and prairie grasses by two to eight times, the first growing season immediately after a burn.
  • Controls woody vegetation and prevents the prairie from converting to a forest or shrubland.
  • Recycles nutrients and removes nitrogen, that is tied up in the thatch that builds on the soil surface over the years. 
  • Increases seed germination rates by removing the thatch layer which creates a seedbed and in increases soil temperatures the first year (thatch layer traps moisture and insulates the soil, creating cooler growing conditions).
  • Increases the diversity of plant species.
  • Reduces the conditions favorable for the growth of cool season invasive species (such as Kentucky blue grass, fescues, clovers and more) by increasing the soil temperature.
  • Improves habitat for beneficial wildlife species.
  • Maintains high quality aesthetics of the landscape for the public to view.
  • Economical – most cost-effective management tool.
  • Enhances and maintains a highly functional prairie, which is fire dependent.
  • Provides the local fire department valuable training in fighting prairie fires.

Stormwater Management Reports and Resources

Polluted stormwater runoff is commonly transported through municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s), and then often discharged, untreated, into local water bodies. The Town of Algoma maintains a stormwater permitted through the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) and is required to treat stormwater before it reaches Lake Butte des Morts, which is classified as an impaired body by the WDNR.

The Town has invested in several infrastructure projects to help meet its water quality goals as established under this permit. In recent years, Algoma has built both the Irvine and Jones Detention Ponds, acquired the Butte des Morts Meadows 1st Addition Dry Pond (located between Sheppard Drive and Charlie Anna Drive), and reconstructed Omro Road to include a stormwater management system. For 2023, the Bellhaven Lane Dry Pond will be converted to a wet detention pond to help treat stormwater runoff in the western part of Bellhaven Estates. Each of the Town-owned wet detention ponds have a maintenance plan associated with them to ensure they are performing at maximum capacity.

In addition to the construction and maintenance of the physical infrastructure, Algoma is a member of the Northeast Wisconsin Stormwater Consortium (NEWSC). As a a permitted MS4 municipality, Algoma is required to do considerable community outreach and education to encourage residents to adopt good stormwater management practices. NEWSC staff assists the Town in providing those types of educational resources through print materials (list of flyers below), workshops, and newsletters. For more information, please visits the consortium’s website.  

Additional Regional Stormwater Partners and Programs: