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Eco Pond Rescue News

A Beginners Guide to Water Clarity
Lakewatch - University Of Florida Circular 103 - http://lakewatch.ifas.ufl.edu/LWcirc.html
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Water clarity, the clearness or transparency of water, is one of the most noticeable attributes
of a waterbody. It’s also something of great importance to many people. The public
judges water quality by what they can see, and so their evaluation is often based on this
standard. For example, lakes with very clear water may be perceived as good, unpolluted, or pristine, while lakes with limited transparency may be described as undesirable, polluted, or degraded.


Contrary to this popular perception, crystal clear water is NOT the ruler to which all lakes
should be compared. It is not true that lakes with lower transparency are necessarily the result of
pollution or degradation. In Florida, lakes with a wide range of water clarity occur naturally, even in
locations that are unaffected by human impacts. It is also not true that clearer water is safer to swim in or to drink. On the contrary, clear water is just as likely as murky water to harbor pathogens, bacteria, or other contaminants that could be harmful to human health.

A Beginners Guide to Water Color
Lakewatch - University Of Florida Circular 108 - http://lakewatch.ifas.ufl.edu/LWcirc.html
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Aside from water clarity, the color of water in a lake is one of the main attributes that
captures people’s attention — particularly if the color begins to change. Such events often
take us by surprise as many of us carry a mental image of a lake or waterbody as we first saw it
and generally don’t expect changes to occur. In reality, however, many lakes and waterways in
Florida can display a wide variety of hues over time, ranging from a clear blue to vivid green, to
orange or almost black.


Water color can be influenced by any number of factors: some colors occur naturally; some may
be human-induced or result from a combination of circumstances. For example, heavy rain events
are known to wash organic substances into the water where they dissolve and act as a dye;
seasonal algae blooms can result in such high concentrations of algae that the water becomes
tinted with the coloration of the algal cells; or wind events may stir up fine particles off the bottom,
re-suspending them into the water column. Color may also be the result of inorganic materials (e.g., clay particles, etc.) from storm-water runoff or shoreline erosion.

   
   
   

 

 

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