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Taylor Lake 2002 Water Quality Study

In 2002 the association contracted with Dr. Wallace Fusilier of Water Quality Investigators to perform a lake water quality study.

Dr. Fusilier has periodically studied or analyzed samples from our lake since 1984. The study performed in 1984 was a class project with Dr. Chuck Cubbage. A second study was performed in 1988 by Dr. Fusilier after he began providing his lake study services under the name of Water Quality Investigators. He analyzed samples from our lake in 1993 and 1994 in cooperation with a Michigan Lakes and Streams Association lake-monitoring program.

Dr. Fusilier was on our lake twice in 2002, in April and August, to take water and bottom sediment samples and measure the physical and chemical properties that are used to determine the “health” of a lake.
Click here to download a pdf copy of the report
The full report of the study can be read or downloaded in Adobe Acrobat format.  This is the best way to read the report "offline" or print a hardcopy.  The report is a sizable 350,000 bytes and will require several minutes to download using a dial-up phone connection.
Click here to view the report online
The full report of the study can be read online, formatted for viewing on your display screen.  A fast connection to the Internet, such as a cable modem, is recommended.

Executive summary (selected excerpts from the report)

Dissolved oxygen
  • Most of the time Taylor Lake has dissolved oxygen concentrations between 84 and 107 percent of saturation, which is good.

  • Taylor Lake formed a 15-foot-thick thermocline, from 15 to 30 feet.  Dissolved oxygen started to drop at the top of the thermocline, to a low at 24 feet, then increased again at 27 to 30 feet.  It then dropped to zero at 39 feet.  About 26 percent of the lake is deeper than 39 feet.

  • Once a lake runs out of dissolved oxygen in the water at the bottom, iron comes back into solution, and when that happens, it releases the phosphorus back into the water.  This can cause additional algae to grow when the lake mixes.
Chlorophyll a
  • The [chlorophyll a trend] graph seems to show chlorophyll a concentrations are increasing.  Let’s hope that trend doesn’t continue.
Secchi (transparency)
  • The Secchi Disk Trend graph shows the average Secchi disk readings are generally between 13 and 18 feet, which is good.  It also shows the lake may be getting clearer, which is also good.
  • The graph of Taylor Lake total phosphorus concentrations shows the surface phosphorus concentrations range from 4 to 29 micrograms per liter, but are generally in the 5 to 15 microgram per liter range.  These are good phosphorus concentrations.

  • Three of the four top to bottom sample series show higher phosphorus concentrations at the bottom of the lake.  This phosphorus is being released from the bottom sediments during anoxic conditions in the bottom water.  The graph also seems to show phosphorus concentrations may be increasing
  • The graph comparing the spring and summer nitrate-nitrogen concentrations from 1984 through 2002 shows spring surface values range from 33 to 200 micrograms per liter, while summer values are much lower, ranging from 6 to 42 micrograms per liter.  These are normal nitrate nitrogen concentrations for a Michigan inland lake.

  • The 1988 and 2002 top to bottom series of samples show higher concentrations of nitrate nitrogen below the surface.  We usually find this only in high quality lakes.
Alkalinity, pH, Conductivity
  • All normal for a moderately hard-water Michigan lake.
Lake Water Quality Index
  • The index rates lakes about the same way teachers rate students:  90-100=A, 80-90=B, 70-80=C, 60-70=D, and below 60=E.

  • The spring and summer Lake Water Quality Indices for Taylor Lake from 1984 through 2002 are, with the exception of a spring 1993 sample and two summer 2002 samples, all 90 or above.  These data indicate the water quality of Taylor Lake was in the 'A' range every time it was sampled.
Bottom sediments
  • Many times bottom sediments tell us more about what is happening in a lake than the water quality tests do.  That’s because bottom sediments provide sort of a history of what’s been happening in a lake, while water testing just provides a snapshot.

  • The mineral content of the 1988 samples ranged from 74 to 86 percent and averaged 82 percent.

  • The mineral content of the 2002 samples ranged from 63 to 83 percent and averaged 78 percent.

  • These data indicate organic material is building up at a faster rate than the lake can assimilate.  Residents need to be aware of this and quit using all fertilizers on near lake areas.

Summary of the Executive summary

The lake is still a high quality clean lake but there are some negative trends that members should be aware of as they make choices in activities and practices that may impact the future of the lake.