Water Quality Monitoring and Reports

One of the most important projects of Washington Lakes Watershed Association is to facilitate periodic water quality testing in Crystal Lake and Washington Pond. Until recently, annual water quality data was gathered at least once a year for each body of water. David Allen, who resides on Crystal Lake, took the measurements and sent them to the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program which tracks the reports over time. Larry Esancy who lives on Washington Pond and assisted in data collection reported his findings to an associate in Union. Consistent data helps identify and track trends in lake water quality as lakes and ponds experience a high degree of seasonal and annual variability. Annual data collection increases the ability to identify changing conditions over time.

In addition to the annual monitoring by David Allen and Larry Esancy, on a sevaral year basis a complete set of tests were conducted by water resource management professionals, and a full report generated. The most recent report conducted by a water resource management professional occurred in 2012, five years since similar tests taken in 2007.  As in 2007, the 2012 testing and report were undertaken and provided by Scott Williams, Aquatic Biolgist at Lake and Watershed Resource Management Associates of Turner, Maine.

In 2015, the Washington Lakes Watershed Association embarked upon its most exhaustive year of sampling to date as part of a new data collection regime.  Thanks to the amazing commitment of two Washington Pond residents, Rob Stenger and Roger Cady, water was sampled monthly from June through September.  For 2016, Roger and Rob solicited the assistance of Garrison Beck of the Midcoast Conservancy.  As a result, the 2016 Water Quality Report is by far the most comprehensive that's ever been done.

The links below offer complete copies of the 2007 and 2012 reports by Scott Williams, the 2015 report prepared by Rob Stenger and Roger Cady, as well as the 2016 report prepared by Roger Cady.

2007 Washington Lakes Water Quality Report

2012 Washington Lakes Water Quality Report

2015 Washington Lakes Water Quality Report

2016 Washington Lakes Water Quality Report

2017 Washington Lakes Water Quality Report

2018 Washington Lakes Water Quality Report

The findings in all four reports suggest tha the most effective way to insure that all indicators of lake water quality remain stable - or even improve over time - is through watershed stewardship.  This includes raising awareness among landowners about ways in which the effects of development on water quality can be minimized and developing a coummunity plan to protect and manage the watershed.  The Executive Summary for the 2016 report offers some indication that the efforts of the community are having desired results.  From the Summary: "In general, ... 2016 shows that both Washington Pond and Crystal Lake maintain above average water quality, with water quality indicators maintained at a constant level or possible improving in some parameters..."

To learn more about the water quality parameters that Rob Stenger and Roger Cady tested, you may want to check out, "A Citizen's Guide to Understanding and Monitoring Lakes and Streams," a publication of the State of Washington's Department of Ecology.