Many of Indiana’s streams, lakes and rivers reflect changes we’ve made to the landscape, serving such diverse uses as drainage ditches, mill races, flood control reservoirs, swimming beaches, drinking water sources, and canoe trails. Some are little more than stagnant puddles in the late summer heat, while others provide for recreation all year long. How do you know if your river, stream, or lake is in good health, needs help, or is somewhere in between? Knowing requires assessment, or the analysis of information such as water quality data, maps, historic studies, and a variety of other information to determine the overall condition of a waterbody and the possible issues it faces.
Assessment is a complex topic, but we’ve broken this down into key topics. This site includes information on basic water quality info, a description of common water quality parameters IDEM and others measure and what they might mean, and a description of water quality targets.