Lake Water Quality Monitoring
In this age of increasing pollution awareness and the on going efforts to decrease/eliminate pollution sources, the monitoring of our lakes and streams becomes an important indicator to accomplish this objective. With this objective in mind, the North Stonington Citizens Land Alliance (NSCLA) participates in the University of Rhode Island’s Watershed Watch Program. This program utilizes volunteers who are trained and equipped by URI to perform water quality monitoring via water samples taken at various scheduled dates from May through October. These samples are analyzed by URI and the data is posted on The Watershed Watch Web Site (www.uri.edu/ce/wq/ww/)
During the 2010 season volunteers collected water samples from the following lakes in North Stonington, Wyassup Lake and Blue Lake (a.k.a. Andersons Pond). Both of these lakes have a public boat launch ramp and are used by residents and visitors alike for recreational uses such as boating and swimming. These lakes abound in various forms of wildlife. In addition to the birds that reside in the lake areas year round, many different kinds of birds stop to rest at the lakes during their spring and fall migrations. Great Blue Herons and Osprey are some of the larger birds that can be seen in and around the lakes.
The water samples are analyzed in the laboratories at URI for various indicators such as water clarity, pH, chlorophyll and bacteria. The intent of the program is to track the water quality over time to determine whether or not the water quality is degrading and, if so, to identify the sources and to recommend corrective action to prevent further degradation.
The good news is that each of the three lakes is very clean. Test results for the past season produced the following data when analyzed for enterococci (bacteria). The Rhode Island Department of Health standard for recreational use of fresh water is not to exceed 61 enterococci per 100mL.
Results for 2010 Season
Billings Lake– Volunteer needed
Blue Lake– May-2.0 July-1.0 Oct-<1.0 Geomean-<1.0
Wyassup Lake– May-6.4 July-3.1 Oct-4.2 Geomean-4.4
All citizens are urged to help keep our lakes clean by practicing good environmental habits when in our watershed areas.