Residents concerned about the water quality of the Portage Lakes can participate in Portage Lakes Advisory Council’s lake water testing program. The program provides an opportunity for area citizens to take an active role in learning about aquatic ecology, lake and stream water quality and watershed management.
Program coordinator Dana Oleskiewicz, leads the Portage Lakes Advisory Council’s contingent of water testers. Water testing training events will take place at dates and places to be determined in the spring and summer of each year. For more information contact, Portage Lakes Advisory Council. Also check out the videos below for more about the topic.
Portage Lakes Advisory Council Uses a Secchi Disk to Measure Water Clarity
What is a Secchi Disk?
A Secchi disk is an 8-inch (20 cm) disk with alternating black and white quadrants. It is lowered into the water of a lake until it can be no longer seen by the observer. This depth of disappearance, called the Secchi depth, is a measure of the transparency of the water.
Transparency is an indicator of the impact of human activity on the land surrounding the lake. If transparency is measured through the season and from year to year, trends in transparency may be observed. Transparency can serve as an early-warning that activities on the land are having an effect on a lake.
Interested in Water Testing? Read through our common questions and answers.
Q. Can I help in lake water testing?
A. Yes, PLAC sponsors annual training seminars. Then you can join your neighbors in monitoring the health of the lakes.
Q. Does the training take a long time?
A. No, the class runs about 2 hours, and are held often at a local marina.
Q. Is it real complicated, and technical?
A. Not at all, we just ask you to follow several simple steps. Most importantly be consistent.
Q. When is the next class?
A. Will be announced.
Q. What are we looking for with the test?
A. Clarity mostly, along with color and temperature.
Q. Will we be testing for toxic Blue-Green algae?
A. Testing, No. However we will be watching for signs indicating its presence.
Portage Lakes Advisory Council believes in sustainable communities and wants to provide decision making tools and data that will lead to strategic decisions that reflect an understanding of the balance between environment, society and economy. We support development and conservation strategies that help protect our natural environment and make our communities more attractive and economically stronger.