The Lake Housatonic Authority has implemented a Water Quality Monitoring Program for Lake Housatonic. The overall goal of the Program is to generate a baseline that is indicative of the overall "health" or quality of the Lake water. This will be a valuable tool for the LHA so that it can react to sudden or drastic changes in water quality and address the issues in a timely matter.
There are currently hundreds of tests available that are useful for determining water quality. It is beyond the scope of any monitoring program to sample for every condition that can be found in a lake. Since it is not possible to perform all these tests, the monitoring program must focus on a few key indicators. Indicators that will be monitored are transparency, total phosphorous, total nitrogen (ammonia & nitrate/nitrate), dissolved oxygen, and chlorophyll-a. These indicators will give an overall picture of the condition of the Lake but may not identify a specific problem or its source. It is the intent that these indicators be used to indicate there may be a problem and that more thorough testing is required in that specific area.
Monitoring would begin May 1st and would end on October 31st annually. There will be one monitoring station. The station will be sampled once a month for laboratory analysis. There would be a total of 6 lab analysis samples per year.
The monitoring station will be sampled once on month for laboratory analysis. This analysis will test for total phosphorous. This parameter is an essential plant nutrient that stimulates algae growth. A simple rule of thumb is, the more phosphorous in a lake, the more algae. The sample will also be tested for total nitrogen (ammonia & nitrate/nitrite). Finally, it will be tested for dissolved oxygen. The amount of oxygen in the water is an important overall factor of lake health as it is essential for aquatic life.
In addition, the station will be sampled once in August, for Chlorophyll-a. This parameter is a more reliable indicator of algal quantity because chlorophyll-a is a chemical extracted from the algal cells present in water.