ADEQ: Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, Arizona's Official Web Site
Our mission is to protect and enhance public health and the environment
Water Quality Division: Monitoring and Assessment: Ambient Lake Monitoring

General Overview

The Clean Lakes Program is responsible for collecting water quality data to assess the biological and chemical integrity of Arizona's lakes and reservoirs. The data is used to determine potential sources of pollution and to provide guidance to improve water quality conditions of lakes or reservoirs. The Clean Lakes Program collects water quality data for purpose of:

  • Determining water quality conditions and potential sources of pollution; and
  • Supporting CWA 305(b) water quality assessments.

Arizona has few natural lakes. Most lakes are reservoirs. In the early 1900s, the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built several dams along rivers in the Southwest, creating reservoirs to provide for flood control, a reliable drinking water source, irrigation and hydroelectric power. Now, these reservoirs have an additional value as a site of recreation: boating, fishing, and swimming.

The types of lakes in Arizona are diverse and range in size from holding tanks ~0.123 acres, to massive reservoirs such as Lake Mead which covers ~102,334 acres. If all of the lakes and reservoirs are combined in Arizona, the total area could cover over half of Rhode Island.


Water Quality Monitoring

ADEQ typically monitors at least 4 lakes per year. Several sites are generally sampled per lake to represent water quality conditions. Data collected as part of routine monitoring on Arizona lakes is stored in ADEQ's Water Quality database.

Field measurements include:
  • pH
  • Total Dissolved Solids
  • Dissolved Oxygen Concentrations
  • Dissolved Oxygen Percent Saturation
  • Air and Water Temperature
  • Specific Conductivity
  • Turbidity
  • Bacteria Concentrations
  Water samples are analyzed for:
  • General Chemistry
  • Major Cations and Anions
  • Total Metal Concentrations
  • Dissolved Metal Concentrations
  • Carbon
  • Chlorophyll
  • Algal Identification
  • Sediment Metals
  • Sediment Nutrients
  • Sediment Nutrients

Clean Lakes Program - Other Lake Related Websites

Back to the top of the page

Back to main Water Monitoring and Assessment page