Lacamas Lake Water

heehawultraMechanics

Feb 22, 2014 (3 years and 5 months ago)

68 views

Lacamas

Lake Water
Quality

Is
Lacamas

Lake safe to swim in?




I began this project with the assumption
that
Lacamas

Lake was safe to swim in
but is it?



This spot is so beautiful with a boat
launch, pier, picnic areas and trails.



After studying this area for a few weeks
my opinion started to change. Is all of
this beauty just lipstick on a pig?








This lake is 65 feet deep and 315 acres.



It extends from
Hockinson

on the North end to Camas on the South
.



This
watershed flows
through
forest, farm, industrial and residential areas

.



Poor land management and development has allowed sediment and toxins to
spill into the lake causing algae growth and eutrophication below 18 feet.



High nitrogen, phosphorus and ammonia levels have been recorded.



Lake health has not improved much since clean up efforts in the 80’s and 90’s.



Sedimentation in Lake


0
100
200
300
400
500
600
700
800
900
1000
1800
1850
1900
1950
2000
Percent Increase in Sedimentation

Year

Changes in Lacamas Lake Sedimentation

Land Use Around
Lacamas

Lake


0%
5%
10%
15%
20%
25%
30%
35%
40%
45%
forest
farm
developed
water
Land Use in Lacamas Creek Watershed




Heritage trail is 3.5 miles of beautiful
scenery and well maintained green space.



Satellite view of
Lacamas

Lake


Water Height from Surface to
Bottom of Pier


0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
Trial #1 July 10
Trial# 2 July 18
Trial #3 August 8
Trial #4 August 15
Trial #5 August 22

Centimeters

Water Height

Water Temperature

0
5
10
15
20
25
Trial #1 July 10
Trial# 2 July 18
Trial #3 August 8
Trial #4 August 15
Trial #5 August 22
Degrees Celsius

Water Temperature

Air Temperature


0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
20
Trial #1 July 10
Trial# 2 July 18
Trial #3 August 8
Trial #4 August 15
Trial #5 August 22
Degrees Celsius

Air Temperature

pH levels


6.4
6.6
6.8
7
7.2
7.4
7.6
7.8
8
8.2
Trial 1
Trial 2
Trial 3
Trial 4
Trial 5
pH

pH levels

BOD


0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
Trial 1
Trial 2
Trial 3
Trial 4
Trial 5
parts per million

Biochemical Oxygen Demand

Dissolved Oxygen


0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
Trial 1
Trial 2
Trial 3
Trial 4
Trial 5
% saturation

Dissolved Oxygen % Saturation

Phosphates


0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
Trial 1
Trial 2
Trial 3
Trial 4
Trial 5
parts per million

Phosphates


Nitrate


none detected


0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
Trial 1
Trial 2
Trial 3
Trial 4
Trial 5
Nitrate ppm

Nitrates

Macro
-
invertebrates


We were disappointed after evaluating the
macro
-
invertebrates in the lake.


Finds:


4 aquatic worms


2 blackfly larvae


3 midge
larvae


These are all tolerant


This would indicate that the water quality
is poor.



Summary


The biggest surprise for me was that I cultured e coli in
Lacamas

Lake twice of
the three tests. I contacted the health department both times and they didn’t
seem too concerned, also surprising.




I had no idea that
Lacamas

Lake was so polluted or that it was eutrophic.



It is good information for me to have when planning to go swimming.



Too bad the general public doesn’t have this information readily available. I
was able to find out with some difficulty that
Lacamas

is only monitored once a
month from May to December by volunteers. When looking for the results of
this testing, I could only find a water study from 1997.




It would be helpful to the public to be able to access this data so they could
make an informed choice about where to swim in the summer.





Is
Lacamas

Lake safe to swim? In my
opintion

no, except for dogs.