Water Quality in the Valparaiso Chain of Lakes Watershed

Primary Submission Contact

Brittany M Barkus

Faculty Sponsor

Jon Schoer

Faculty Sponsor Email Address



Arts and Sciences



Document Type

Poster Presentation


Fall 10-30-2015


The water quality in the Valparaiso Chain of Lakes watershed has been regularly monitored for the past decade. Eleven lakes and associated streams, ponds, and wetlands make up the watershed. Multiple tests were performed in the field including measurements of pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, chloride concentration, nitrate concentration, ammonium concentration, and clarity. Samples were collected and an assortment of laboratory tests were also performed including total and reactive phosphorus, biological oxygen demand (BOD), total coliforms and E. coli, and total suspended solids (TSS). Most of the parameters monitored have remained relatively constant in the watershed. One notable exception is that the total and reactive phosphorus levels for most of the lakes tests have generally decreased from their levels at the beginning of research in 2005. Water quality and clarity have also somewhat improved. These improvements are attributed to efforts made by various organizations, groups, and individuals near the watershed to better manage the lakes. By continuing to collaborate and interact with the community, we anticipate growing awareness of the factors affecting water quality in the watershed and that sound management practices will expand and lead to further improvements in the quality of the watershed.

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