Saturday, February 3, 2018

Long Lake's Water Quality, A Twenty Year Report

Did you know that it takes about 4 years for water to  flow through Long Lake?  We need to be vigilant by checking the water year by year.  Our team of volunteers has been sampling the water for the last 20 years to monitor any accumulation or trends.  Our association has been paying RMB Environmental Laboratories to analyze the samples.  Their 20 year report is given on our web page:  Water Quality Data  and at this link:  Full Water Quality Report.

The report shows that Long Lake continues to be one of the best lakes in the region for water quality, recreational opportunities, and nurturing fish.  The 20 year report concludes with the following paragraph:  The good news is that for now, the water quality of the lake is not declining. There is a tipping point, though, at which more phosphorus addition can cause a decline in water quality.  A DNR study on phosphorus sensitivity placed Long Lake in the highest category group for most sensitivity to added phosphorus.  Conversion of more land to development or agriculture should be carefully planned, and its effect should be mitigated through the implementation of best management practices.”

Run-off into the lake increases phosphorus, which increases algae growth.
The report states that this can be limited by:
  • Homeowners restoring shoreline and using rain gardens.  See:
  • Limiting agricultural run-off by wetland restoration, shoreline buffers, and forest cover.
  • Installing conservation easements and aquatic management areas in new developments.

Let’s all be proactive to preserve our lake.  We are grateful to all the sampling teams over the last 20 years, including our current samplers Al and Patti Kiecker along with Sharon Natzel.  The sampling has enabled phosphorus, nitrogen, chlorophyll, chloride, alkalinity, dissolved oxygen, conductance, suspended solids, transparency, and color to be tracked.

This news item is brought to you by the Long Lake Area Association.