Riverkeepers release results of lake testing

Published 8:08 pm Sunday, December 3, 2017


The quality of water in West Point Lake in 2017 met state standards according to results of Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s annual water monitoring program.

Between April and October of each year, CRK devotes one full day out of each month to collect water samples from the lake. The samples are then analyzed in accordance with state approved protocols for chlorophyll-a – an important indicator of the lake’s health. The results of each month’s samples are averaged to develop a single value to compare to the state standard.

Nutrients concentrated in large amounts from raw or partially treated sewage, fertilizers and other non-point sources can result in algal blooms, deplete oxygen in the water and cause odor and taste problems in treated drinking water. In extreme cases, nutrient pollution and excessive algae can cause widespread fish kills.

Because of the harm that excessive algae can cause, the state developed limits for the amount of algae in West Point Lake in 1995 (updated in 2003). The annual average chlorophyll-a value should not exceed 24 μg/L at the LaGrange water intake. In the 1980’s, chlorophyll-a seasonal averages were as high as 44 μg/L and causing dangerous and unsightly blooms of algae. In 2017, however, average chlorophyll-a levels did not exceed 18.66 μg/L.

The more than a decade long trend of improvement in the health of West Point Lake is evidence of the success that CRK and partners have created.

“Clean water is required for all living things,” said Hannah Bradford, CRK’s Middle Chattahoochee Watershed Protection Specialist. “To be able to show others that our water source is healthy is a great thing.”

Thanks to the support of the City of Lagrange, Highland Marina Resort and individual donors, CRK is able to conduct nutrient monitoring annually on West Point Lake. For more information about Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, water monitoring and how to support their efforts in 2018, please visit www.chattahoochee.org or contact Henry Jacobs at hjacobs@chattahoochee.org

Established in 1994, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper (CRK) is an independent environmental advocacy organization with more than 7,200 members dedicated solely to protecting and restoring the Chattahoochee River Basin.