POND/LAKE Water Quality Sampling and Cyanobacteria Testing

Pond & Lake Sampling For Safe Swimming, Paddling, and Fishing!

As spring and summer are rapidly approaching us, it is time to start thinking about testing your ponds or lakes. Questions arise from homeowners, lake associations, and the general public every year. We now have a “POND/LAKE” Sampling panel! This panel will include Total Phosphorus, Total Nitrogen, Turbidity, Total Dissolved Solids, Dissolved Oxygen, and E. coli.

If you are more worried about Cyanobacteria do not fret, we have an option for that as well. If you are concerned about your lake’s water quality, you could conduct your own sanitary survey. This would entail looking at the weather conditions, water conditions, water quality characteristics, amount of people and animals on the beach or in the water, areas of pollution, types of debris found, and lastly if there are any algae present. Every little detail about sanitary surveys helps determine how the water quality is and where to perform testing in the future.

Every year there are nutrients that flow down into our lakes and ponds. Having an excess of nutrients, also known as eutrophication, can cause harmful algal blooms (HABs). HABs are formed by having an excess of phosphorus and nitrogen and can produce toxins. These toxins are only harmful if ingested. If a suspected HAB is present in a swimming area, it is best to close the beach from swimming, otherwise if the HAB is suspected not in a swimming area, signs should be posted warning boaters, fishermen, and anyone else of the potential harmful algae. Testing for Cyanobacteria is now a possibility!

If there is a suspected HAB present, we can determine what types of algae classes are present, ID the types of algae present, and find the concentration of Microcystis (a toxin that is present). If a bloom is present and you want to report it, please fill out this DEC form or email HABsInfo@dec.ny.gov with pictures and a description of what you see and where you see it. If there have been any health issues related to
Cyanobacteria, please contact your local health department or email NYS DOH at:

If you have any questions about our POND/LAKE Sampling panel or want to learn more about testing for
Cyanobacteria when the bloom is present, please call us at 518-949-2020 or email us questions at:

Below are links from the NYS DOH, EPA, and NYS DEC for further reading –
‘Blue-Green Algae Bloom Response for Beach Operators and Staff’: https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2849/index.htm
‘Control Measures for Cyanobacterial HABs in Surface Water’: https://www.epa.gov/cyanohabs/control-measures-cyanobacterial-habs-surface-water
‘Nutrients’: https://www.epa.gov/system/files/documents/2021-07/parameter-factsheet_nutrients.pdf
‘Sanitary Surveys for Recreational Waters’: https://www.epa.gov/beach-tech/sanitary-surveys-recreational-waters#great
‘Harmful Algal Blooms HABs’: https://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/77118.html

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