Issues with Water Quantity, not Water Quality

June 2015
By Kayla
Posted: Updated:

Carlyle Lake faces issues with Water Quantity, not Water Quality

CARLYLE LAKE – Testing at Carlyle Lake has shown that the water meets all state and federal regulations for safe public use.

Analysis by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers June 23 showed good water quality in 10 samples taken at four separate locations, according to Joe Smothers, Natural Resource Specialist at Carlyle Lake for the Corps’ St. Louis District.

As some popular recreation areas are impacted by high water, the water quality in Carlyle Lake has become a hot topic on social media.

“We’ve had numerous calls from the public with questions about water quality at the lake, and we want people to know we are monitoring bacteria levels at Carlyle Lake to ensure the safety of our visitors and the overall health of the lake,” said Smothers.

The Corps monitors water quality weekly; this is above the Illinois Department of Public Health state guidelines that call for Carlyle Lake to be tested for e. coli every two weeks. To ensure the water at Carlyle Lake meets all state and federal regulations and is suitable for human and aquatic life, the Corps also does its own testing to protect water quality at the lake.

“If samples indicate unsafe levels of any of the parameters monitored, immediate action is taken to protect our visitors’ health and well-being,” Smothers said.

In addition to e. coli bacteria, the Corps monitors for nitrogen, phosphates, pesticides, suspended solids, dissolved oxygen, pH levels, and more than a half dozen other parameters that impact water quality.

The National Great Rivers Research and Education Center placed a buoy on Carlyle Lake May 6 as part of a larger network of scientific water quality monitoring. Buoys are being deployed throughout the Upper Mississippi River basin. The data will be used to track trends among the important variables directly linked to the habitat quality of aquatic species.

For more information on, visit the St. Louis District web page; Facebook at and Twitter at