Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Dane County Land & Water Resources Department

Sediment and Erosion

Sediment is the loose sand, clay, silt, and other soil that settles to the bottom of a water and smothers valuable aquatic breeding ground, damages fish gills, fills in stream channels (which increases the chance of flooding), contributes to the erosion of stream banks, decreases the recreational value of the waterbody, and can be costly for drinking water treatment plants to filter out. In addition, sediment often carries nutrients with it into streams and lakes.

Soil erosion can occur naturally but increases significantly when the land is disturbed due to human activities, such as construction or agriculture. Learn more about erosion and stormwater runoff on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website.

What Dane County Residents Can Do

  • Cover bare soil to reduce erosion and sediment runoff.
  • If you are an agricultural producer, learn more about conservation funding opportunities in your area that can help reduce erosion on your land.
  • Plant native plants in your yard or on your land.  The deep roots can help infiltrate water and hold soil in place.