Supporting research to address critical water-quality issues in National Parks since 1998.
Emerald-green harmful algal blooms have become an all-too-familiar summertime sight in many U.S. lakes and reservoirs. A new study successfully predicts when mixtures of the toxins produced by these blooms in Kabetogama Lake, Voyageurs National Park, will exceed drinking-water guidelines.
Scientists developed a statistical approach (model) to use both readily available measurements, such as wind speed, and laboratory measurements, such as cyanobacteria toxin gene counts, to predict levels of a single toxin and—for the first time—a mixture of toxins. Although the models were developed for Kabetogama Lake, the approach used could be applicable to other lakes or beaches where harmful algal blooms occur.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) conducted a 3-year study to understand the sources, timing, and distribution of the fecal-indicator bacteria Escherichia coli (E. coli) within TUMA and the upstream watershed. This will help TUMA describe the water-quality conditions at the park and waters flowing through the park, as well as prioritize and help carry out future best-management actions to address these issues.
The results from this study will provide the National Park Service with information necessary to determine if the current regulations on emission standards for personal watercraft used on Lake Powell are effective in lowering polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon concentrations in the lake.