Water Testing Frequency — An Important Part of Lake Management

The old saying about prevention applies to lake management as much as it does to any other subject. Prevention is a better option for avoiding problems, and it is usually easier and cheaper than implementing the solutions. One of those preventive measures is water management, which means testing the H2O to measure:

  • Water Levels
  • Temperature
  • Dissolved Oxygen
  • pH
  • Chloride
  • Nitrates
  • Phosphates
  • Alkalinity
  • Hardness
  • Clarity
  • Color

These give experts invaluable information about potential problems and improvements.

The Frequency of Testing

The question then arises, “How often do you need to test the water in a lake or pond?” It’s especially critical during the growing season for plants and algae. Also, there are reasons to conduct frequent testing to establish a baseline and monitor the water. These include overgrowth of algae, or the turbidity or “brownness” of water, due to mud or sediments. The rule of thumb is the smaller the body of water, the more often testing is necessary.

Of particular concern to any water body where people swim or fish is harmful bacteria, such as fecal coliform bacteria. Just like it sounds, this is a condition where water becomes contaminated by animal or human feces and is not safe to swim in. We recommend frequent and regular testing as part of lake management to maintain the health of fish and plant life, as well as recreational value.