Letter to the Pilot

Monday, November 4, 2002

SL water gets clearer


In Celebration of the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Clean Water Act, America's Clean Water Foundation (ACWF) invited volunteer monitors across the nation to monitor water quality on Oct. 18...

On Oct. 18, I collected and entered Storm Lake water transparency data into their web site. A turbidity tube was used to measure the water transparency at Circle Park, which is located just south of Buena Vista University.

According to a press release by the Department of Biological Sciences at Kent State University on May 15, water transparency is affected by water color and by silt or clay particles or small plants called algae, and is therefore a measure of some forms of pollution.

Several water transparency measurements were taken and averaged to a single value. The final result is a transparency value of 22 centimeters, which is equivalent to 8.66 inches. On Oct. 18, you could see 8.66 inches below the water surface of Storm Lake at Circle Park. Storm Lake is ranked as having high turbidity, and high turbidity is one of the reasons that Storm Lake was dredged this past summer.

The recent water transparency measurement is an improvement over a measurement taken on July 14 at Circle Park... water transparency measurement indicated that Storm Lake still has a high turbidity level even after completion of dredging 180 acres this past August. Silt is still present in the lake. An expanded dredging program will increase water transparency by removing this silt.

In addition to expanded dredging, efforts must continue to be made to reduce the amount of silt flowing into Storm Lake from Little Storm Lake...

-Mike Brecher, Storm Lake