Celebrating 20 Years of Water Testing

By: Michael Gulbrandson, Past President

Did you know? Our 6 Lakes uses RMB Environmental Laboratories to test the waters of our lakes every odd year?

Minnesota is the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” and we pride ourselves in enjoying these lakes throughout the year. Because lakes are such a valuable resource to us recreationally and economically, it is important to monitor their water quality to assess current conditions and more importantly monitor changes in water quality over time. Recreational enjoyment, fishing, wildlife habitat quality, and property values are all tied to water quality.

Associations can monitor water quality to learn about seasonal variability and year-to-year variability. Condition monitoring involves collecting at least 5 samples during the growing season. The association tasks this volunteer effort to your lake representative.

Monitoring can be thought of as a proactive prevention water quality strategy as opposed to a mitigation strategy. Committing the time and money, $220 for each of our six lakes, to monitoring will mean that you can catch and document any water quality problems before they get too big and expensive to fix. If abrupt changes in water quality occur, you’re able to investigate potential causes and respond accordingly. Secondly, after 8-10 years of consecutive data you can statistically determine through the use of trend analysis if the water quality is improving or declining.

“Think of lake monitoring like a “health physical” for your lake. You hope you don’t find anything out of the ordinary, but you need to check it so that if you do find a problem you can address it right away.”

Our association has over 20 years of data with our waters excellent and stable. Our participating in RMB Lab’s Lake Monitoring Program is an excellent strategy for understanding your lake and protecting it from decline. It is also helpful for getting association members involved, and caring about their lake. The monitoring must be done on a specific Sunday near noon, with the water samples delivered Monday morning to a collection site in Longville. I encourage your participation in one or both of these tasks. Occasionally your lake representative will have a time conflict. So please call your lake rep and offer to pair up so as not to miss your lake test. I know it is greatly appreciated.

Want to find your lake’s testing results? Results will be posted in RMBEL online database 7-10 days after sample collection. Visit www.rmbel.info/ and click on Lakes Monitoring Database.