Lake Water Quality Monitoring 

This is a secchi disk which is used to measure water clarity. 

This is a secchi disk which is used to measure water clarity. 

Lake water quality monitoring is conducted on many lakes in Washington County as a part of the Metropolitan Council's Citizen Assisted Lake Monitoring Program (CAMP). The Met Council also produces an annual Lakes Water Quality Summary. WCD staff monitors the water clarity, dissolved oxygen, temperature, and nutrients on a monthly or bi-monthly basis in each.

Among other things, water monitoring technicians check for nutrients, temperature and dissolved oxygen in lakes. 

Among other things, water monitoring technicians check for nutrients, temperature and dissolved oxygen in lakes. 

The data gathered is provided to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to determine if water resources are not meeting water quality standards and criteria. If these resources are not meeting these standards and criteria, they are classified as "impaired." Once an impairment is determined, a study known as a TMDL or Total Maximum Daily Load must be performed to determine the stressor or pollutant causing the impairment. Once the problem is identified, a plan is developed to determine how much less of the stressor(s) or pollutant(s) need to prevented from reaching the water resource to meet water quality standards and criteria. 

Download a map of impaired waters in Washington County.

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