Lake Wellness Data

Data provided by the NH DES and the Volunteer Lake Assessment Program.

Graphical data analysis provided by your local LAE webmaster/waterboy.

Water with a pH of 5 is ten times more acidic than water having a pH of 6. Since pH can be affected by chemicals in the water, pH is an important indicator of water that is changing chemically. Pollution can change the water's pH, which in turn can harm organisms living in the water. Lower pH readings are sometimes seen in fresher waters due to acid precipitation or even naturally-occurring organic acids, which can be found in bogs and some wetlands. High pH readings can occur during algae blooms due to chemical processes associated with photosynthesis.

Getting better!

Alkalinity is the buffering capacity of a water body; a measure of the ability of the water body to neutralize acids and bases and thus maintain a fairly stable pH level. In more simple terms, water with a high alkalinity will experience less of a change in its own acidity, for instance, when acidic water, such as acid rain or an acid spill, is introduced into the water body.

Getting better!

Chloride in streams, lakes, and wetlands harms aquatic vegetation and can change the plant community structure. Soil — Salt-laden soil can lose its ability to retain water and store nutrients and be more prone to erosion and sediment runoff (which also harms water quality)

Increasing, but still good.

Specific conductance is a measure of the ability of water to pass an electrical current. Specific conductance measurements are affected by the presence of dissolved solids such as salts. For example, sea water will have higher specific conductance and distilled water will have lower specific conductance.

All good!

Dissolved Oxygen (DO) measures how much oxygen is dissolved in the water. This is very important to fish and aquatic life that depend on an adequate supply of DO to live. DO is measured in milligrams per liter (mg/L) or percent saturation (%). Different organisms require different levels of DO. Generally, DO is lower at deeper depth where less mixing occurs with the surface water and where water becomes stratified.

Meh.

In most lakes, phosphorus is the limiting nutrient, which means that everything that plants and algae need to grow is available in excess (sunlight, warmth, water, nitrogen, etc.) except phosphorus. This means that phosphorus has a direct effect on plant and algal growth in lakes – the more phosphorus is available, the more plants and algae there are in the lake.

Don't fertilize your lawn!

Chlorophyll is a green pigment found in plants, algae and cyanobacteria. Chlorophyll is extremely important in the photosynthesis process, which allows plants to absorb energy from light. Some levels of chlorophyll and algae are healthy and provide the base of the food web. When too many nutrients enter the water, algae and cyanobacteria concentrations can take off and form "blooms." Blooms can be unhealthy for other organisms in the water, people, and pets in contact with the water.

Likely high due to high P

Turbidity is one of the ways to determine water clarity by measuring of how much suspended material is in the water. Suspended materials can include soil particles (clay, silt, and sand), algae, plankton, microbes, and other substances.

Higher turbidity reduces the amount of light penetrating the water. Suspended materials can clog fish gills, reducing resistance to disease in fish, lowering growth rates, and affecting egg and larval development.

All good!

Help Protect New Hampshire's Lakes 

Help Protect New Hampshire's Lakes: 

A Guide to Wise Lake and

Watershed Stewardship

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