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Nasty water draws attention to lakes ahead of big events

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MADISON (WKOW) — On a summer Friday night, the Memorial Union Terrace is a popular place to be, and plenty of people were there this Friday night. They were enjoying the sunset, but not the water as algae and bacteria had taken over. With the CrossFit Games in town, even more attention is now on the lakes and on the problem.

“The cities will live and thrive and die by the lakes,” said James Tye, executive director of the Clean Lakes Alliance. He says while the water is murky at the Terrace, that’s not the case on every shore.

“The Union, the Edgewater, James Madison Park, there’s a lot of algae and possible cyanobacteria, that being on the south side of the lakes,” he said. “So then where the CrossFit Games is, over by Monona Terrace and the Fit Barge, that’s a little bit more clear.”

That’s a good thing for the games, but Tye says winds and currents could change those conditions very quickly. He says the unpredictability of the lakes needs to get under control so Madison can continue to thrive and host big, international events.

“If people come here and the lakes are great, more people are going to come here, more people are going to come to UW-Madison, and more people will move here for jobs,” Tye said. “If the lakes get worse, then less people are going to come here.”

Andrew Merica

Reporter/Producer, 27 News

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