The Watershed Foundation’s annual Snapshot Water Monitoring Day was a great success with scores of volunteers capturing moment-in-time data on water quality throughout the Tippecanoe River watershed in Kosciusko, Whitley and Noble Counties.
“On September 21, 2023, dedicated volunteers from 28 teams conducted a total of 581 water tests from 92 different sites,” stated Caitlin Yoder, watershed coordinator for The Watershed Foundation. Yoder was responsible for overseeing this year’s event. “This initiative aims to raise awareness about water quality issues and promote environmental stewardship within our community.”
The seventh annual Snapshot Water Monitoring Day brought together 48 enthusiastic volunteers who dedicated their time and effort to assess the water quality in our local water bodies. These dedicated individuals undertook a comprehensive range of tests to evaluate various crucial parameters. Tests conducted included:
Temperature: Volunteers measured water temperature.
Dissolved Oxygen: The amount of oxygen available to aquatic organisms was assessed, ensuring a healthy environment for underwater ecosystems.
Transparency: The relative clarity of the water was examined, shedding light on the overall water quality and sediment levels.
E. Coli: Tests were conducted to identify the presence of E. coli bacteria, a significant indicator of fecal contamination.
Phosphate Levels: Phosphate levels were measured to understand the nutrient balance in the water, as excess phosphates promote algae growth.
Nitrate Levels: Nitrate levels were assessed to gauge another nutrient that can lead to algae growth, impacting the overall aquatic ecosystem.
pH Levels: The acidity of the water was measured within the typical range of 7.2 to 8.8, providing insights into the water’s chemical balance.
The collaborative effort of volunteers and partners highlighted the importance of water quality monitoring, emphasizing the need for collective action in preserving our natural resources. The data collected during Snapshot Water Monitoring Day provides helpful insight into local water quality and can, potentially, indicate where future projects are needed to improve conditions there.
“We are thrilled with the enthusiastic participation of our volunteers and the support from our local community,” said Yoder. “By actively engaging in water quality monitoring, we are empowering our community to make informed decisions about our precious water resources. The results of this initiative will guide our future efforts in promoting environmental conservation and sustainable practices.”
Yoder noted that many of the volunteers did not previously know each other, but were united in shared values and concern for the environment while working together during the event.
“I love any event that gets people directly involved with the cause, and what can be more direct than getting out and sampling at the source of our water bodies,” Yoder said. “It shows how complex our watershed is and the importance of stewarding the land surrounding our lakes and streams. Plus, it’s just downright fun!”
The Watershed Foundation extends heartfelt gratitude to all volunteers, partners, and community members who contributed to the success of Snapshot Water Monitoring Day. 2023 Snapshot Water Monitoring Day sponsors included: ProWake Watersports, Smoker Craft, Barbee Lakes Property Owners Association, Lake Tippecanoe Property Owners, Lakeland Pier & Lift, Lake City Bank, Kosciusko County Community Foundation, and K21 Health Foundation.
Yoder said testing results will be available in the coming weeks and will be shared by The Watershed Foundation.
Our lakes need help. Our lakes need you. You can volunteer on clean water projects, take an action pledge, attend an event, donate funds – there are so many ways to make a difference! Will you join us?