Lake Water Quality Testing

September 2022

"The lake water was reinventing the forest and the white moon above it, and wolves lapped up the cold reflection of the sky."

Karen Russell

To The Lakeside Monthly Newsletter Page for subscribersIssue Number 07

Who Tests Lake Water Quality?

clean water splashWho is Testing Our Water Quality?

The 1972 Federal Clean Water Act authorized standards to controlling discharges affecting watersheds. The Environmental Protection Agency authorizes water quality proposals for unimpeded lakes, rivers & streams.

The Office of Water implements finalized proposals. They work regionally with states & tribal governments for standards of data collection, scientific method & guidance via regular back & forth contact.

All to provide safe drinking water, protect & maintain watersheds & related waterways, and for unimpaired fish, plant & wildlife habitats. Plus for humans the benefits of health protection, economic advantages & quality recreation.

magnifying water to identify germs and other microscopic entitiesHow Do We Get a Close-Up View of Lake Water?

Thus from Federal Guidance, States & Tribes enact testing guidelines per 3 stipulations: 

  • Standards - Limits for concentrations of substances, plus the water's physical condition.
  • Dedicated Purpose - What is the waterway used for?
  • Antidegradation Directives - Once goals are achieved, ensuring maintaining, if not improving the waterways' status.

One possible problem is there are multiple upon multiples of interpretations for these stipulations. Even within a state, among agencies, or within a county.

For Example, here are some varieties in Arizona:

flow chart for testing water quality in Tucson Arizona
US Geological Survey river suspension device for water testingUS Geological Survey Suspension for Gila River in Arizona
For Upstream Testing at Gila Box
US Geological Survey Officer in its water resources department tests Gila River flooding waters in ArizonaU.S. Geological Survey Officer Testing Downstream Gila
flow chart for water testing in areas of Pima County in Arizona

How is Lake Water Quality in the Southwest?

It's not necessarily a bad thing, as you can see above, Tucson and Pima County seem on the ball with adhering to Federal & State regulations. Is every southwestern state that meticulous?

4 boys trying out water testing by a riverKids Learning About Water Testing

When you say, "I'm looking for the lake water quality near me." Check the state where you live:

  • California is so large its economy is larger than some countries'! Thus, they have several ways to track water quality. With nine regional Water Quality Boards.
  • Nevada has State Standards as their Go-To resource.
  • Utah also has its state standards, which include some More Stringent than Federal.
  • Arizona has Stipulation Specifics it interpreted for the state. There's also its own Dept. of Environmental Quality, which has a Clean Lakes Program to monitor lake waters. Their goal is to sample a minimum of four Arizona Lakes each year.
  • Colorado has its state standards and stipulations, but also includes Salinity Concerns for the Colorado River.
  • New Mexico Stipulations also reflect that some of its waterways are affected by happenings in adjacent states.
  • Texas is a very large state with many Lakes & Rivers. Thus it's been regularly updating its Water Quality Standards.
  • Oklahoma has its own Water Resources Board, which set standards for OK Water Quality, but are not necessarily approved, disapproved or in effect per the Clean Water Act.

Overall in their 2021 paper, Simon N Topp et al concluded that "extensive U.S. freshwater pollution abatement measures have been effective and enduring..." particularly for alleviating serious pollution, and addressing it when it occurs. They also graphed a trending improvement in freshwater lake and river quality since the early 1980s.

Speaking of Facebook!

Were we??

We've always had our Southwest Lakes USA page on Facebook = SW Lakes USA. So that people can learn about the so many wonderful lakeside places to visit in the Southwest U.S. And connect with our website.

Just wanted to let you know the page is now down.

It's because it was hacked by someone.

To have a Facebook page that relates to a website, it's sourced from your initial account - your own Facebook personal page. That's our page that was hacked, and then shut down - at least from our access. Then the attached Lakes Facebook page was hacked into and shut as well.

This wasn't a good thing for us, causing us distress, as it led to the hacker getting into even further personal info. Not as bad as stealing identity, but still illegal. 

We tried contacting Facebook multiple ways they supposedly provide. But nothing worked, we could not reach them. Apparently they have no working customer service and never get with you - even if you're hacked. Everything is automated, and if the automation doesn't work - oh well, they don't seem to care.

thumbs down sign for FacebookWeak Security & Terrible, Terrible Customer Service!

It's almost like they blame you for being hacked.

Because the hacker, we're aware, went on & on for about a month, without them even noticing. Yet the hacker was doing illegal functions - we finally discovered. Yet as soon as we discovered it, all the while, we've been trying to contact Facebook & solve it.

With no results.

Still no results at this time. But we're following up by other means. So to be continued...

With purchases made via links on our site, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Details at our Advertising Policy

PROMOTE FB PAGE: We'd love it if you'd tell us about [whatever], the name of it, and where it is, or even post a photo of it to our Facebook Page Here>

Pristine Lakeside

We hope any lakes near you are monitored well enough. Especially those man-made reservoirs used for drinking water! If you ever go hiking up into the mountains of the southwestern states, why not discover trails that lead to an alpine lake? Or some hidden pristine undiscovered, "secret" lake!

So after this more troublesome report - we'll leave you with a nice view of a beautiful lake you can dream of hiking to!

lake in the mountains with scattered pines and snowy areas.Island Lake in Tahoe National Forest

Lake Joke of the Month!

  • I like the scenery around pristine mountain lakes. 
  1. Some are absolutely gorges!
man with beard and mustache scrunching up his faceoooooh!

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See you again next month.

Meanwhile, enjoy your lakeside adventures!

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P.S. Let Us Know if you have any lake information you'd want to share with us. Or any suggestions for newsletter topics. We're continually learning, and looking for what we can discover. What questions are you wondering about?

When we find out new lakeshore benefits for readers like you we get right onto sending them to you. Thanks for checking in!