Project Type


Publication Date


Department or Program

Earth and Environmental Science


College of Arts and Sciences

Faculty Mentor #1

Wessel, Barret


Freshwater lake reservoirs are important not only for their unique beauty but also as a source of easily treatable water for human consumption. It is critical to monitor and protect these waters. Monitoring enables regulation and planning for correction of unusual measurements. After being monitored for 17 years of active water use, Abel Lake is now no longer routinely monitored, though it remains a water resource for future generations. New sampling was completed in 2022 to evaluate the lake’s current condition. Historical trends such as alkalinity had recorded at ranges from 24 to 28 mg/L while new data shows current levels are now ranging from 38 to 62 mg/L. Other interesting trends include measures of pH, turbidity, hardness, color, iron, and manganese. The changes recorded from while the plant was in operation today are likely caused by the consumption of carbon dioxide via algal photosynthesis, and seasonal leaf litter and suspended sediment inputs.