Pond and Lake Water Testing

Often the first step in understanding the aquatic eco-system of a lake or pond is the proper identification of the problems. Water chemistry as it relates to water quality is a very important first step to the overall management of a body of water. Poor water quality can promote unwanted algae and vegetation growth, which can also produce an imbalance in the population of microscopic plants, fish, animals and bacteria. Each body of water is a unique and very different eco-system. It is essential that you determine as well has understand the causes of your aquatic problems as well as any environmental impact that may take place to that lake or pond when any actions are taken.

Water Chemistry

Several perimeters exist for water chemistry testing in an aquatic environment. Listed below are a few of the basic sampling guidelines considered in a water chemistry evaluation. These baseline reading will help in the understanding of current conditions.

  • pH
  • Alkalinity
  • Conductivity
  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphorus
  • Total Dissolved Solids
  • Chlorides
  • E. Coli  (fecal bacteria)
  • Chlorophyll
  • Dissolved Oxygen

Physical Factors

In addition to the chemical perimeters listed above each body of should also identify the following physical characteristics. These are the factors that affect most bodies of water.

  • Water Volumes
  • Water Depth
  • Water Clarity
  • Temperature
  • Water Movement  (inflow/outflow)
  • Sedimentation or erosion
  • Identify vegetation and algae densities
  • Surrounding watershed

This baseline information is crucial for designing future rehabilitation and maintenance programs. Each factor will be interpreted and recommendations will be provided on how to improve the existing water quality. The Pond and Lake Connection can specifically tailor a site analysis to meet the needs of your lake or pond and provide a written report with simple, concise data for your review.

Types of Water Tests Available:

 

  • Pond Check

    This test will determine safe levels of bacteria, causes of algae blooms, weeds and fish kills. Bacteria, Metals, Minerals, Nutrients, Oxygen Availability, pH, Color and Turbidity are tested.

  • E.Coli

    E. coli is a bacteria that lives in the bowels of warm blooded animals, and swimming in water with high levels of it can cause flu-like symptoms like fever, diarrhea, vomiting and rashes.

    Contamination can come from a number of sources, including heavy rain like much of the state has had recently. More rain creates more runoff into lakes and ponds, increasing the amount of bacteria.

    Large groups of ducks and geese also contribute to bacteria levels, bacteria levels are also high when large groups of people swim in one area.

  • Heavy Metal Scan

    This will test for toxic metals from domestic plumbing and other environmental sources. Antimony, Arsenic, Barium, Cadmium, Chromium, Copper, Lead, Nickel, Selenium and Zinc levels are tested.

  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s)

    This will test for toxic compounds used by gas stations, dry cleaners and machine shops.59 Volatile Organic Compounds including: MTBE, Benzene, Toulene and Trichloroethylene will be tested.

  • Herbicide & Pesticides

    This test should be performed is your pond is near land where herbicide and pesticides are applied. Traces of farm and lawn care pesticides, extermination products and PCB’s will be tested.