Labor Day 2018 Water Test; Results are Excellent!

29 August 2018

Mike Bergin and I took our 2018 Labor Day water samples beginning at 8:20 am on Monday, Aug 27. The results are very good, and very similar to what we got August 31, 2017

#1                        Dock                       6  cfu
#2                        Cedar Fork Creek   9  cfu
#3                        Booker Creek         20 cfu

Caution level is individual reading above 400 cfu, or average above 200 cfu. CFU  = colony forming units per 100ml.

Lake water temperature ranged from 81-82.5F(27-28C). These readings continue to be very good, and consistent with the results we have gotten in previous years. As I observed last year at this time, the higher count was associated with the cooler water, but the temperature differential was very slight (1 degree F).

The SECCI clarity reading was 29-30 inches, 7-8 inches more than last year’s Labor Day results.  We had significant rainfall (over 3 inches) in the 10 days prior to this sampling, ending 5 days before this test. The water was near the top of the second step on the spillway at the dam, indicating better than average flow-through for this time of year.   There was a fairly significant amount of goose down visible on the surface of the lake, with almost no breeze, and evidence of fish feeding in many places on the abundant small flies.

We are required, by the Health Department, to have a Fecal Coliform testing program, because we allow swimming and water recreation in the lake. This applies to all recreational (fresh and salt) waterways in NC. We are not required to submit the results to any regulatory agency, presumably because this is not considered drinking water.  We do need to maintain records of our tests and results.  Fecal Coliform is normally present in all open bodies of water. Its characteristics make it a good indicator of how much waste is present in the water. It does not grow in the water, it is diluting.  We are monitoring what is happening “upstream” in our 4.5 sq. mile watershed. That area is mostly north and west of the lake, both in and outside of Lake Forest Estates.

Mike Bergin brings some expertise and laboratory resources that may help us further evaluate our water quality.  In the past, we have had neighborhood volunteers with relevant scientific knowledge.  This helped us to develop a sustainable plan for the ongoing maintenance and restoration of our man-made urban lake.  In terms of routine water testing, Chip Chesceir was responsible for our turbidity monitoring and tracking (SECCI readings).  Going forward, Mike may be able to help us conduct some additional analyses that have been requested over the years, that we did not have access or resources to perform.

As the neighborhoods in our watershed develop, the percentage of ground that is impervious increases.  This reduces the earth’s natural ability to “filter” rainwater. The more we can discover about our water quality, the better prepared we will be to advocate for the environmental quality in our ecosystem.

Chuck Henage

08.29.18 by Chuck Henage @ 11:58 am
Filed under: Website| Water Quality| Lake & Land Mgmt Comments:

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