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Water Quality

Everyone should understand that the quality of the water of Deep Creek Lake is what attracts people to come and use that resources for boating, fishing, and establishing a nearby primary or secondary residence. The quality of the water is strongly affected by humanity. There are a number factors that affect water quality. The factors commonly recognized are:

  • Alkalinity
  • Ammonia
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Chlorine
  • Nitrates and Nitrites
  • Dissolved Oxygen
  • pH
  • Phosphates
  • Temperature
  • Turbidity

A well written, and easy to understand, summary of the issues associated with water quality is provided by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency It's all about Nitrogen and Phosphorus, the two elements that are required for growth. Do read it! One dealing specifically with phosphorus can be found here.


Some things that contribute to nitrogen and phosphorus pollution include:

  • Overuse of fertilizer (both residential and agricultural usage)
  • Rainfall flowing over cropland, factory farms and pastures, picking up animal waste and depositing it in water bodies
  • Rainfall flowing over urban and suburban areas where stormwater management may not be required (e.g., parking lots, lawns, rooftops, roads)
  • Discharge of nitrogen and phosphorus from waste-water treatment plants
  • Overflow from septic systems
  • Loss of wetlands

The second element of water quality is "Total Suspended Solids" or TSS. These are small particles that remain suspended in water and whose concentration is an excellent indicator of the health of the water body. More can be learned here.