Lake Water Quality Testing

Water quality testing can identify in lakes and waterways possible contaminants. Services are available to test for oxygen, bacteria, nutrients, chemicals and other agents. LAKE AND WETLAND MANAGEMENT provides quality water testing to lakes and wetlands and help identity any contaminants in the water.

Areas We Serve in Florida

Maintaining the health & quality of lakes and ponds is of critical importance since they provide aesthetic & recreational benefits that positively affect property values. The knowledgeable team at Lake and Wetland Management is well versed in Florida’s unique ecosystems and can provide quality lake water testing and remedy a variety of issues while providing best-in-class service to the following areas in Florida:

lake and wetland expert testing lake water quality

Importance of Lake Water Testing

Lake and pond water quality is influenced by human influence and natural processes. Natural factors can be hard to control and generally create few problems. The most serious water quality issues originate from human activities and land usage in or near the pond. However, the effects of these activities can be often be minimized with management and early detection of issues through lake water quality testing.

Regularly testing your lake or pond water is an essential step for assessing the overall health and for spotting and preventing potential problems before they happen. For lakes and ponds with an existing water quality program, testing is an important tool for diagnosing the cause of the issues and finding suitable treatment strategies. Even if nothing seems obviously wrong, regular testing finds changes that occur over time and allows you to keep minor issues now from becoming expensive problems later on.

lake-water-quality-testing

What We Test for in Lakes, Ponds, & Wetlands

Whether conducted in conjunction with or independent of governmental monitoring and compliance, Lake & Wetland Management can test your waterways and soils. We test for a wide array of parameters, including:

  • pH—refer to the amount of alkalinity or acidity of the water. The pH can be affected by chemicals that enter the water through runoff, testing for pH is an essential indicator that the water is changing chemically.
  • Dissolved Oxygen (DO)—refers to the level of free, non-compound present oxygen in pond or lake water. It is critical for the health of aquatic habitats. Too much DO, and you run the risk of an algal bloom, too little, and there is not enough for the fish. The right balance creates a healthy ecosystem for plants and fish.
  • Water Elevation—is used to measure how much water is in a pond or lake. Lake levels fluctuate for a variety of reasons, often in response to change in precipitation but also as a result of human activity. Low water levels can lead to nutrient concentration and increase the likelihood of harmful algal blooms.
  • Clarity—indicates the amount of light that penetrates the water. Tracking water quality provides a lot of information about the health of a pond or lake. Low clarity may indicate excess algae. If the water clarity is consistently low it may indicate poor water quality that could affect insect, plant, and fish communities.
  • Presence of Bacteria—bacteria in lakes and ponds can cause waterborne illnesses. Some bacteria will occur in all lakes and ponds, but if the levels become dangerously high, they affect the oxygen levels and can put the fish population of the pond or lake at risk.
  • Presence of Organic & Inorganic Chemicals, Herbicides, & Pesticides—chemical fertilizers, pesticides changes the natural ecosystem of the lake or pond by killing or damaging a wide variety of organisms in the lake. Fertilizers can also increase plant and microbial growth and disrupt the natural biological communities in the lake or pond.

Please contact us for further information.

Testing for Harmful Bacteria

It is often easy to see harmful algal blooms in lakes and ponds. However, dangerous bacteria cannot be seen with the naked eye. Bacteria are single-cell organisms that are a natural part of water. There are also indicators that you may have too much bacteria in your lake or pond. Pond and lake water testing for harmful bacteria may be required if:

  • It has rained recently. When it rains, stormwater can pick up harmful bacteria and carry them into lakes and ponds.
  • There are a lot of waterfowl that live in or around the lake. Bird feces can add bacteria and other pathogens to the water.
  • Crowds. There is a connection between people at beaches and large amounts of bacteria in the water.

Pond and lake water can contain good and bad bacteria. Good bacteria doesn’t harm plants or fish in the pond. They feed on harmful bacterial and other organisms that would otherwise thrive. They also play an important role in nutrient cycling since many bacteria feed on the nitrogen produced by plants and fish. Harmful bacteria can infect plants and fish, which can lead to disease or death.

Preventing Lake & Pond Water Quality Problems

Water quality issues in ponds and lakes can usually be prevented with some proper management techniques. Here are some tips:

  • Test the lake or pond water regularly to assess bacteria growth and monitor for any other non-visible problems.
  • Prevent overgrowth of algae and aquatic plants.
  • When using herbicides, carefully read and follow the directions of the label when using aquatic herbicides.
  • Reduce or limit activities that may cause chemicals and fertilizers to end up lake or pond.
  • Maintain a plant buffer around the pond to help filter out toxins.

Please contact us for further information on how regular testing can improve the water quality of your lake or pond.

How to Test Water Quality

There are a lot of factors that play a part in the quality of water in lake and wetlands. When testing the lake water all of these have to be taken into consideration as well.

  • soil
  • vegetation
  • position on the landscape
  • topography
  • water quantity (amount of flow)
  • climate
  • groundwater and surface water chemistry
  • hydrology

There are state regulations on water quality and they vary between different bodies of water such as lakes or streams. A lot of the quality can also depend on runoff and pollution that can create other fields of management for wetlands such as installing fences or signs. Since there is so much that can affect the water quality, it is important to regularly test it and act on a problem as soon as it rises.

Tests

There are many different tests that have to be done, as well as levels of test, such as basic or more advanced.

Basic Lake Water Quality

Nutrients – total Phosphorus, Total Nitrogen, Ammonia
Water Clarity – Secchi Depth
Dissolved Oxygen and Temperature Profile

Muck

Nutrients – Total Phosphorus, Total Nitrogen, Ammonia
Water Clarity – Secchi Depth
Dissolved Oxygen and Temperature Profile
Soil Organic Content
Muck Depth

Pre-aeration

Nutrients – Total Phosphorus
Water Clarity – Secchi Depth
Dissolved Oxygen and Temperature Profile

Water Clarity

Secchi Depth, Turbidity, Total Suspended Solids, Chlorophyll a, Particulate Organic

Total Lake Quality

Nutrients – Total Phosphorus, Total Nitrogen, Ammonia, Phosphates
Dissolved Oxygen, Temperature and Redox
Water Clarity – Secchi Depth, Turbidity, Total Dissolved Solids, Total Suspended Solids, Chlorophyll a
Salts – Salinity, Chloride, Conductivity
Acid/Base Readings – pH, Total Alkalinity, Total Hardness
Lake and Wetland Management performs the tests required to have a high lake water quality
Water quality testing is included in the services provided.