Water Quality Program
To a large degree, the Adirondack experience and economy centers on clean water: mountain vistas across lakes; communities that have grown along lakeshores; canoeing on winding rivers; private and municipal water supplies; fishing and boating.
Given the importance of water to Adirondack communities and residents, it is essential to know the state of water quality in lakes and streams throughout the region. Unfortunately, little information is available to assess water quality in most of the Adirondack's water-bodies.
To remedy this situation, the Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI) and the Residents Committee to Protect the Adirondacks (RCPA) have joined forces to administer a practical and affordable Adirondack Lake Assessment Program (ALAP) for individuals or groups interested in starting a volunteer water quality monitoring program in their area.
The ALAP involves a one-time $250.00 start-up cost, which includes a Secchi disk to measure water transparency, an integrated sampler and bottles for collecting samples for phosphorus, and filtering apparatus and bottles for chlorophyll-a samples. These parameters provide the basic information needed to assess water quality in a lake or pond. A limited number of equipment sets are provided at no cost each year.
Training for water quality measurement and sample collection is provided by the RCPA and AWI to volunteers prior to the start of their monitoring program. Sampling takes place monthly for the period of June-August or May-September. Volunteers are responsible for sampling handling and shipment to the RCPA office in North Creek or to AWI at Paul Smith's College. The AWI laboratory provides sample analyses and maintains a database for each lake or pond. AWI can also provide interpretive material and reports for water quality results. A nominal fee is required for these AWI services.
For more information about AWI programs, contact
Dan Kelting at 518-327-6213
Adirondack Watershed Institute of Paul Smith's College
P.O. Box 244, Paul Smiths, NY 12970-0244
Tel: 518-327-6213 Fax: 518-327-6369