Parkside, Wisconsin students assisted in helping restore Pike River water quality
A project to improve water quality will involve University of Wisconsin-Parkside students and faculty.
A portion of the Petrifying Springs Park section of Pike River was identified for rehabilitation.
The Pike River watershed, which flows through Racine and Kenosha counties before it empties into Lake Michigan, is experiencing pollution in the river and sediment. This alongside stream channelization from agricultural practices over the years has led to water quality problems, reported Kenosha News.
Parkside students collaborated with Kenosha County, including Jim Kreuser, Kenosha County executive and UW-Parkside alum from ’83 and ’86, to conduct water sampling, according to Kenosha News.
A 2012 assessment by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources ranked the river’s biological community as poor, and relatively few fish species were observed. Additionally, phosphorous and nitrogen concentrations were high, another indication of low water quality.
This section of the river was identified for rehabilitation as part of the Pike River Restoration Plan completed in 2013.
According to Kenosha News, more than 525 tons of sediment and 368 pounds of phosphorous have been removed and sections of the stream have been stabilized. So far, the UW-Parkside has monitored positive changes in the Pike River.
Short-term data showing a 55% reduction in phosphorus and 44% reduction in nitrogen.
The project was funded through the EPA’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Award, the Fund for Lake Michigan, as well as an in-kind match from Kenosha County.