Windermere Lake Monitoring
We live in one of the most beautiful areas of Florida, in large part because of the incredible lakes that surround our town. The Florida LAKEWATCH volunteer
program (in association with the University of Florida IFAS) was established in 1986 to monitor water quality in lakes, coastal sites, rivers, and springs throughout Florida.
As Windermere residents, we can all be proactive by doing our part to maintain the integrity of our lakes. One way you can help is to monitor the lake water quality through the LAKEWATCH program.
In Windermere, Lakes Down, Butler, and Bessie have been monitored for 24 years. Other Butler Chain and Windermere area lakes have been in the program in the past, but are currently inactive (no volunteers to sample). If volunteers were found, those lakes could be back into the program and the data bases continued.
Volunteers in the program collect water samples from three stations, record water depth and clarity monthly. Part of the water is filtered to obtain algae samples and part is frozen for later nitrogen and phosphorus analysis. The recorded data and frozen samples are stored in a freezer at the Ocoee Public Works Office and then transferred to the LAKEWATCH water chemistry lab located at UF’s Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences in Gainsville for analysis.
LAKEWATCH uses this data to classify water quality and create a long-term database that can serve as reference documentation of current water chemistry conditions for comparison with future conditions. An annual report for each lake is available on the LAKEWATCH website. Also, the website contains links to additional lake data, bathymetric maps, publications, volunteer information and LAKEWATCH history.
The Orange County Water Atlas, published by USF contains current LAKEWATCH and additional Orange County EPD and Florida DEP lake information.
LAKEWATCH has partnered with the Orange County Environmental Protection Office to train and equip volunteers. To become a volunteer, email the Volunteer Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact LAKEWATCH at their phone or email address below: