Water Quality Monitoring

We continued to conduct monthly water quality monitoring at several locations in Lake Winnisquam during the summer months, with a final round of testing and sample collection in September.  We also added water quality testing at nine tributary locations this summer so that we can get a better sense of what pollutants are coming into the lake, and from where.

Winnisquam’s water quality continues to be excellent, with better than average water clarity and low phosphorus and dissolved organic matter. However, we do need to remain vigilant. The near-shore stations have indicated a slight decrease in clarity over time.  The conductivity and chloride levels in our lake are definitely on the rise, most likely from the urbanization of the watershed and in particular the use of road salt on impervious surfaces. See the 2018 lake water quality report.  This is a trend that’s been seen in freshwater bodies throughout the northeast, but seems to be a bit worse in Winnisquam.

This year we increased our corps of volunteers to 10. Many thanks to the volunteers who conducted the monthly monitoring, to David Unger who fabricated some new viewscopes for the lake monitoring team, and to Dave McLaughlin who donated additional sampling equipment.  Thanks as well to the three additional volunteers who made our new tributary monitoring program feasible, and conducted water quality testing and sampling at stream locations around the Lake.

We are also grateful to the Pardoe Foundation, who provided the funding to purchase monitoring equipment and get the tributary monitoring program off the ground. The data generated by these monitoring programs helps us to assess long-term water quality trends and identify pollutant sources to the lake.  See the 2018 tributary water quality report.