Water Quality at Lake of the Ozarks
This study is a five-year cooperative effort led by the DNR and LOWA, which provided trained volunteers to collect water samples. Each year approximately 15 coves are sampled monthly. The intent is to sample from Bagnell Dam to Truman Dam over the five-year period.
The volunteers collect samples monthly from May through October each year. Samples are analyzed by the DNR laboratory, where they are tested using methods approved by the EPA. All samples are analyzed for E. coli.
Costs for the water testing run about $15,000 annually. The five-year project is funded through a settlement agreement with Ameren UE, which controls the shoreline at the Lake of the Ozarks and has certain responsibilities for management of the lake.
A map of the 2011 sampling locations only is available online.
All sampling results:
- Latest 2011 Sample Results and Map (results will be available after the first sampling event on May 31)
Recreational water safety information is available on the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services' website at http://health.mo.gov/safety/recreationalwater/index.php.
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Gov. Jay Nixon has made water quality in Missouri – especially at the Lake of the Ozarks – a priority. The Department of Natural Resources has several ongoing programs at the lake to sample water and analyze water quality. These programs include:
On Sept. 23, 2009, Gov. Jay Nixon directed the DNR to conduct a sweeping enforcement initiative aimed at improving water quality at the Lake of the Ozarks. Included in this initiative:
- a baseline study of contaminants at the lake
- an inspection sweep of all permitted wastewater treatment facilities near the lake or its major tributaries
- a zero-tolerance policy for water quality violations, including any violations found during the inspection sweep
- rigorous scrutiny of new applications for wastewater discharge permits in the Lake of the Ozarks watershed
Baseline study of contaminants
Sampling for the water quality study began in October. 78 sites were sampled and were analyzed for volatile organic analysis (VOA), pesticides (507 and 508), petroleum fractions, total nitrogen, total phosphorus, non-filterable residue (NFR), chloride, E. coli, and total alkalinity as CaCO3. Field measurements of dissolved oxygen, pH, specific conductivity, temperature and nephelometric turbidity were also recorded at each site.
- Map of water quality study locations (Also includes links to results.)
- Results of October Sampling Initiative, released November 20, 2009
2009 Inspection sweep
The inspection sweep began on Oct. 5, 2009 and the department cited more than 150 violations. There are more than 400 wastewater facilities near the Lake of the Ozarks or its major tributaries with DNR-issued operating permits. A map of the facilities included in this inspection sweep is available online.
|Total Inspections||Facilities in Compliance||Noncompliant Facilities|
The Division of State Parks, a division of DNR, operates public beaches at 15 state parks throughout Missouri, including two beaches at Lake of the Ozarks State Park. From May through October of each year, water samples are taken and analyzed weekly from these beaches. The DNR laboratory tests the samples to determine if water quality is safe for swimming. When bacteria readings reach certain levels, beaches are closed to the public until the next sampling determines the water is safe for swimming.