Lake water quality is a somewhat subjective term as everybody has their own opinions about what high quality is. But lake quality really describes in general terms how good the important properties of a late are – how clean is the water, how far is the visibility, what is the level of impurities, how much natural wildlife is living in the lake. High quality lakes are desirable for the environment, people that live near the lake, and those who consume the water.
Because quality is subjective, standards need to be set so relative comparisons can be made. The Environmental Protection Agency provides many sets of guidelines and standards, as do many State legislators such as the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. These standards allow water quality to be assessed using many different measurement methods and equipment varying from simple pH test kits to radio monitored anchored sensor buoys, which can make continuous and periodic measurements over a long period. Measurement to a specific standard allows the quality of the water to be referenced to a specific standard, which will allow comparisons to other marinas and inland bodies. Periodic measurement also allows the monitoring of a given lake over time to see any changes that occur, for example if there is a sudden influx of algae or contaminants.
Reasons Why We Need High Quality Water
Freshwater is vital to the environment and society in general. Fresh drinking water is probably the most important natural resource we have on the planet. Just ask people from areas around the world where water is scarce.
We are fortunate to have plentiful fresh water which allows other uses such as:
- Power Generation
- Boating Activities
Low water quality or declining quality will reduce the benefits we have with lakes and marinas, both ecologically and economically. If a lake or marina becomes polluted, from a man-made cause or natural incident, it can reduce the water quality so much that it is unsafe to drink and also kill off fish and plants that live in the water, reducing the ecological and economic value of the body. A polluted lake will reduce many recreational activities and as a byproduct also nearby land values and homes.
Pollution affects water quality in freshwater resources and lakes all around the world. Unfortunately there are many different sources of pollution such as herbicides, fertilizers, pesticides, sewage, industrial chemicals, and man-made waste and litter. So it can come from industry and commerce, agriculture and cities.
Lakes often contain high levels of pollution because typically they are low-lying and water from higher ground drains into the lake, bringing in pollution from sources not adjacent to the lake.
Lakes often contain high levels of pollution because typically they are low-lying and water from higher ground drains into the lake, bringing in pollution from sources not adjacent to the lake. For example if chemicals are spilled, they can drain into a stream nearby and then flow downstream into the lakes.
Once in the lake, fish and plants absorb the contaminants, and fish often have high levels of these contaminants because the chemicals may not dissolve or dilute in water and are absorbed by aquatic life.