Lake Barney is a glacial kettle lake located in the south of Fitchburg and Town of Oregon in the upper reaches of the Badfish Creek Watershed. Generally, stormwater runoff that drains into a glacial kettle remains in the kettle until it infiltrates into the soil, evaporates, or is transpired by plants. Over the 2017-2019 timeframe, Dane County saw record rainfall events resulting in flooding and high groundwater throughout the region. In the fall of 2018, Lake Barney’s lake level rose to the point that it overflowed and drained toward the Village of Oregon (for the first time since at least 1955, based on available aerial imagery). The lake overflowed continuously until July 2020. High lake levels caused impacts to surrounding agricultural and residential properties.
The goal of this project was to determine what can be done to improve the negative impacts that have been seen surrounding Lake Barney. Key project outcomes include: conceptual designs of flooding mitigation alternatives, estimate the "time-to-drain" for alternatives, and perform a cost-benefit analysis for the project.