Water Quality Update for July 15, 2022

July 15, 2022
Current Lake Conditions:
Harmful Algae Blooms: No Blooms Reported
Average Secchi Disk Water Clarity: 5.68 meters
Average Surface Water Temperature: 74.6 F
Lake Level (as reported by the City of Canandaigua Wastewater Treatment Facility on 7/11/22):
Current level: 688.28 feet above sea level
Desired level: 688.50 feet above sea level
Gates, Outlet: North and South Gates Closed
Gate, Feeder: 0.30ft open

It has been a relatively quiet week so far in terms of water quality reports. The volunteer shoreline harmful algae bloom monitoring program is set to launch on July 22nd, so we will soon be receiving regular updates from our 70 volunteers around the Canandaigua Lake shoreline.

In the meantime, the 2022 secchi disk water clarity monitoring program kicked off with a strong start this spring, with reports coming in from our dedicated group of volunteers at 17 locations around the lake. Measuring water clarity with a secchi disk is an easy, low cost, accessible way to monitor the health of the lake and track seasonal variability in clarity over time. Secchi disk readings submitted by volunteers are followed closely in the summer months to monitor algal productivity and suspended sediments in the lake. A sudden decrease in clarity (as indicated by a significant drop in secchi disk readings in a relatively short period of time) may indicate the potential for a harmful algae bloom event in the near future.

The majority of June showed average weekly readings holding in the 7-meter range, as reported by our volunteers. Towards the very end of June, the average weekly readings began to decrease. While this trend is not uncommon for this time of year, this is something we will keep a close eye on in the coming weeks, paired with shoreline survey reports.

CLWA hosted several events this week and we’ve been hearing comments over the perceived cooler water temperatures for this time of year. Interestingly, when we plot average surface water temps as measured by volunteers, we are roughly one-degree above the same time last year. What do you think – does the water feel cooler, warmer, or about the same?

In addition to tracking water clarity and surface water temperature, this year six volunteers are participating in a pilot study to measure water temperature in the lake at one-meter intervals, down to 50 meters. This study is being used to help monitor the stability of the lake’s thermocline. More to come on this project in a future update.

Have a great week everyone!