Preserving and protecting water quality in the watershed is the ultimate goal of all WACF projects and activities. To that end, hard-working volunteers on the Ecology Committee of the WACF regularly test and monitor the various components that define clean water. Since the WACF was first formed in 1991, E.coli tests have regularly been made at the various streams, ditches and inlets entering the watershed. Regular testing is also done to measure nitrogen and chlorophyll levels. Water clarity, which is an important measure of lake health, is carefully and regularly tested by our volunteers both in the 10 lakes that feed Lake Wawasee (weekly tests in the summer) and in Lake Wawasee (monthly tests reported to the IU Clean Lakes program). The clarity tests are done with a Secchi Disk lowered into the water until it is no longer visible.
In 2016, WACF volunteer data from 1994 to 2015 was analyzed (see charts below). It shows that the total phosphorous has decreased since its highest level in early and mid-2000’s and that water visibility is improving. We are convinced that the many upstream projects completed by WACF such as the sediment and erosion control projects on Dillon and Turkey Creek watersheds contribute significantly to the improvement of water quality.
A great friend of WACF, Dr. Nate Bosch (Center for Lakes & Streams) also studies water quality in the watershed and has published the interesting health reports below: