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Lake Monitoring

The City of Woodbury participates in a Metropolitan Council-sponsored lake-monitoring program called the Citizen Assisted Monitoring Program (CAMP). Through this program, the city monitors the water quality of the following lakes: Colby, La, Markgrafs, Powers, and Wilmes. In addition to these five lakes, the Ramsey-Washington Watershed District also monitors Carver and Battle Creek lakes through a separate program.

The CAMP lakes are monitored every two weeks from mid-April through mid-October. In a typical monitoring session, general observations are made about water color, temperature and odor; wind conditions; water surface (calm, ripple, small waves, etc.); cloud cover; lake level; air temperature; amount of aquatic plants; the lake's physical condition and its suitability for recreation.

Water samples are collected and measurements of water clarity are also taken. Later, the samples are analyzed for nitrogen, chlorophyll, and phosphorus levels at the Metropolitan Council's laboratory.

The purpose of the program is to obtain a profile of the water quality in many metro area lakes.

As part of the report, lakes are given a grade similar to grades given in school. An "A" means the lake water quality is in the top 10 percent of metro area lakes, and an "F" means the lake water quality is in the bottom 10 percent. A lake grade of "C" is considered average and is common for lakes in the Twin Cities metro area. The following table lists the grades assigned to the five Woodbury lakes in the CAMP program over the last 10 years.

Lake Name

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012 

2013

2014

Colby

D

F

D

F

N/A

D

D

F

D

D

La

C

C

D

C

C

C

D

C

B

B

Markgrafs

D

F

D

D

F

F

F

F

D

D

Powers

C

C

C

B

B

C

C

A

A

B

Wilmes

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

Lake water quality can vary greatly from year to year, depending on weather conditions. Amount of rainfall, intensity of storms, cloudiness, air temperatures can all affect water quality. Because of this natural variation, lake sampling must be done over a long period of time before trends can be positively established.

The city depends on volunteers to collect the data for the CAMP program. One volunteer does all the monitoring for a lake for entire season. Most volunteers are long-term participants, but occasionally new volunteers are needed to monitor a lake for an entire season. City staff and the Metropolitan Council provide all sampling equipment and training; the volunteer must provide his or her own boat. If you would like your name to be placed on the list of potential CAMP volunteers, call (651) 714-3500.