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Water Testing Continued on Swains Lake... But Not Normal

This summer was different from other summers. We were hoping to start testing in May. The weather was nice, the ice had melted, but COVID-19 prevented us from doing testing. Not because we could not, but because the lab at UNH where we take our lake samples, was closed down.

Due to USPS restrictions, Bob Craycraft mailed us some supplies, but the bottles could not have acid in them (which preserves the organisms in the sample so they don’t decay). We were able to take a sample on June 15th and Bob advised us to put the samples into a freezer. They would still be OK for three months. We sampled on July 15th and did the same process. We put them into the freezer.

Then, on August 17th, Bob Craycraft was able to bring us the containers with the acid for this sample as well as enough for two more sample collection days, so we were happy not to have to put the samples into the freezer and we handed off the two we did in June and July to Bob to take them back to his lab before they passed the three-month time limit. We only made a sample in September after that. The lake level was taken down early for some dam repair so we could not get an October sample.

The drought this summer in NH also contributed to lowering the level of the lake. NH had received 11 inches less rain this year. The drought and hot weather also contributed to several sightings of blue-green algae blooms along the lake shores. We alerted folks to watch for algae growing on their waterfronts and told them to keep pets and children away from the lake so they don’t drink the water. It can make them sick.

The report from the lab is not available yet. We will provide a link once it is.

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