Our massive collection of data helps us make informed decisions about what is happening in our aquatic ecosystems and determine the state of our lake. The WQMP is an important tool that we use to help us keep the Pend Oreille Lake and River swimmable, fishable, and drinkable for future generations.
Many of the sites that we test fall within Idaho’s standards set for water quality. However, we have identified significant issues in Boyer Slough because of too much nutrient pollution. Overnutrification can significantly impair aquatic habitat and cascade into numerous dangerous issues, such as algal blooms, weed overgrowth, not enough oxygen, and decreased habitat for native species. When water quality problems are identified, we work with the appropriate agencies to make sure that official clean-up plans (Total Maximum Daily Loads, or TMDLs) are developed for the impaired sites.
For more information or if you are interested in becoming a Water Quality Steward, email firstname.lastname@example.org
What you can do to help!
Individuals can follow these simple tips to help improve water quality. Whether you live along the shoreline or in town, these actions prevent pollution from entering the water through storm drains or runoff.
- Avoid disturbing the soil that can get in the water. The nutrients in soil that help plants thrive become pollution in water and cause aquatic weeds and algae to grow out of control. Bushes, trees, and other vegetation can serve as a buffer between lawns and the water’s edge because they use the nutrients before they run off into the water. Bonner County code requires a 40-foot setback where buildings are not allowed and retaining native vegetation is recommended.
- Don’t over-fertilize your lawn and garden. If you use fertilizer, choose a phosphorus-free variety.
- Keep leaves and other yard debris away from the shoreline and storm drains.
- Don’t let oils, chemicals, and other pollution spill into the water or storm drains.
- Do what you can to divert stormwater so the ground soaks it up before it runs into the lake.
- If you have a septic system, make sure it is operating correctly.