Surface Water Quality
Stream Stability & Channel Forming Flows
A stable stream is one that, over time, maintains a constant pattern, slope, and cross-section, and neither aggrades or degrades. Stream stability is not the absence of erosion - some sediment movement and streambank erosion is natural.
State of the Great Lakes Report
Restoring the Lakes
Governors’ Restoration Priority: Ensure the sustainable use of our water resources while confirming that the states retain authority.
Read the State of the Great Lakes Report (PDF).
Oil-Like Film & Slimes (Bacteria): A Naturally-Occurring Phenomena
The Department of Environmental Quality often receives complaints claiming that “someone dumped paint or a rust-colored substance” or that there is an unnatural colored oil-like sheen in moist areas or in a water body. Some oil-like films, coatings, and slimes, although they may look bad, are natural phenomena. These phenomena are caused by single celled organisms called bacteria.
Foam: A Naturally-Occurring Phenomena
The Department of Environmental Quality often receives complaints claiming that “someone discharged laundry detergents into the lake” or that there are suds on the river or stream. This phenomenon is often the result of natural processes, not environmental pollution. Foam can be formed when the physical characteristics of the water are altered by the presence of organic materials in the water.
Water Quality FAQs
I want to buy a house on an inland lake, how can I find out the quality of the water?
Several agencies, associations, and watershed groups collect water quality information to measure varying aspects of bacterial contamination, nutrient enrichment, and toxic pollution. Often the data collected are used for a particular study and are not presented in a format easily understood by the lay person. Therefore, the most useful answer to this question may be found with answers to the following sub-questions. The inquirer can then consider the information, as compared to the uses they plan to make of the lake.
Read the Water Quality FAQs (PDF).
- An Integrated Framework to Restore Small Urban Watersheds (PDF): Part of the Urban Subwatershed Restoration Manual Series
- Unified Stream Assessment: A User's Manual (PDF): Part of the Urban Subwatershed Restoration Manual Series
- Urban Stream Repair Practices (PDF): Part of the Urban Subwatershed Restoration Manual Series