Funding for this monitoring program is provided by the Owasco Watershed Lake Association (OWLA) and Cayuga County Department of Planning and Economic Development.
2015 sampling results and locations
Coliform is a group of bacteria present in every corner of our environment, and most are not dangerous to human health. These bacteria are used as indicators of drinking water quality – if coliform bacteria are present, there is a greater chance of harmful organisms also being present.
Fecal coliform is a subgroup of total coliform, which comes primarily from the feces of warm-blooded animals. E. coli is a subgroup of fecal coliform. Fecal coliform and E. coli levels are used as water quality indicator criteria for potential risk to human health.
Results of less than 200 fecal coliform per 100 milliliters (mL) generally indicate a bacterial level considered ‘good’ and suitable for bathing.
Water samples are collected from watershed streams after major storm events. Samples are tested for levels of: Total Phosphorous (TP), Soluble Reactive Phosphorous (SRP), and Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen (TKN).
Quantifying nutrient levels helps us to better understand how heavy precipitation and runoff affect nutrient loading and water quality in watershed streams and Owasco Lake.