Transparency tells us a lot about water quality.
When rain falls, water drains off the land, collecting loose soil (sediment) and other pollutants as it goes, carrying it into the nearest creek or river and eventually into our lakes. Sediment collects on the bottom of lakes and streams, reducing their depth and affecting their overall health. Transparency reflects how deep down we can see through the water. The deeper we can see, the less particles of sediment and/or algae are present. Poorer transparency indicates more particles, and the water may appear cloudy instead of clear.
On Snapshot Water Monitoring Day, volunteers measure transparency at sites across our watershed. While there have been areas of moderate to critical concern over the last several years, transparency levels across the watershed are generally within a normal, healthy range.
Explore full results below. Click on any map to zoom in.