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Health Department



Protecting Water Quality


What impacts the quality of our lake water?

Rain and melting snow that run over driveways, parking lots, streets, lawns, and farmland pick up and carry sediments and other contaminants.  The pollutants in this water can end up in our lakes through the stormwater system.



Examples of pollutants that can end up in our lakes:

  • Sediment and nutrients washed from farmland and construction areas
  • Oil, grease, pesticides, herbicides, cleaners, and toxic chemicals from motor vehicles
  • Nutrients from lawn and garden fertilizers, and leaves
  • Viruses, parasites, and bacteria from birds and pet waste
  • Road salt used on roads and sidewalks in winter



You can help protect our lakes and environments:

  • Wastewater from things like mopping and laundry must go into an indoor drain.  That wastewater is treated before being released into the environment.  It is against the law to dump it on the street, in the gutter, or into a storm sewer.
  • Limit your use of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers on your lawn and garden.  If you use them, follow directions carefully.  Remove any fertilizer that gets on your driveway and sidewalk.
  • Keep pet waste, debris, trash, leaves, and grass clippings off sidewalks and streets.  Make sure they do not go into gutters, storm sewers, and lakes.
  • Wash your car where the wastewater will soak into the ground and not run off into the gutter and storm sewer.
  • Make sure your roof drains to a grass or gravel area.  Do not let it drain to the street, driveway, or paved area that drains to storm sewers.
  • Call us at (608) 785-9771 if you see something going into a storm sewer or lake with an unusual color or odor, or unusual floating objects in the water.








Health Department Office Location
2nd Floor, 300 4th St. N.
La Crosse, WI 54601

Main Business Phone: 608-785-9872
Main Fax: 608-785-9846
[email protected]
In a public health emergency call 911
WI Relay Service and Interpretation Services Available

Office Hours: 8:00am to 4:30pm Monday-Friday; some service hours may vary

Collaboratively promoting a healthful community for all people.