WATER QUALITY MATTERS
Due to the foresight of some Upper Saranac Lake residents, there are continuous measurements of various components of water quality on Upper Saranac Lake going back to 1999. These data, however, have been collected by various organizations, stored by others, and have not been thoroughly analyzed. This year the Upper Saranac Lake Foundation expanded its contract with the Adirondack Watershed Institute to gather these data, store them in a single place, analyze the trends shown by the data, and develop recommendations for on-going monitoring. Amongst the data available are total phosphorus concentration, Ph, alkalinity, nitrates and water clarity measured by secchi disk visibility. There is also information for a shorter period of time on chloride, sodium and dissolved oxygen.
A good measure of changing water quality requires time series data so we know the trends in water variables on Upper Saranac Lake, and comparisons with other lakes to determine whether changes in water quality are due to natural causes or some phenomenon peculiar to our lake. By working with the Adirondack Watershed Institute we will have comparisons with the 100 other lakes on which they collect data as well as the 54 lakes measured by the Adirondack Lakes Survey Corporation.
While much of the attention to water quality on Upper Saranac Lake has appropriately focused on Eurasian Milfoil, it is important for the residents to be aware that there is a comprehensive plan for monitoring water quality on our lake.