Written by Sam Sardes, Laboratory Manager and Weed Science Director
If you were sick, would you perform an at-home blood test or would you count on an experienced medical professional? Most of us would choose the expertise of a doctor or nurse. Water quality testing should be viewed in the same vein.
Picturesque lakes and ponds don’t occur by accident. In most cases, they are the result of rigorous, comprehensive aquatic management plans. And water quality testing is often considered the backbone of these successful programs. Like a blood sample, water quality testing can reveal a plethora of information about the status of a waterbody, which can be used to diagnose problems and design custom solutions.
To a “do-it-yourselfer,” conducting an amateur water quality test might seem like a way to cut costs as kits provided by independent labs can be enticing from a price point. If you choose to go that route, here are some things you should know: The way in which sampling is performed is just as important as the testing itself. The time of day, light exposure, transportation temperatures, and even the type of container you use can have drastic effects on the quality of the sample. Are you knowledgeable about these considerations? Do you have the necessary preservatives or the precisely calibrated equipment to ensure your sample is drawn and analyzed properly?
When the lab receives your specimen, they’re unlikely to know how sampling conditions have affected its integrity. Nor can they evaluate how the results will impact your aquatic management goals and budget. When you receive their report, will you be able to interpret the technical data or understand how to utilize it?
Water quality management is a complex and dynamic scientific field, very much like medicine. If you truly care about the health and longevity of your waterbody—as well as using your budget efficiently—you will invest in a professional management company that has extensive scientific experience and puts an emphasis on client relationships.
What does working with a lake and pond management company with in-house water quality testing labs ultimately mean for you? It's an assurance that all testing is completed properly and analyzed in a specialized laboratory by a scientific team—and translated in a way that you can understand. It also means a partnership with an organization that cares about your outcome and considers all factors to develop a customized, premium aquatic management program for your waterbody.
Contact the experts at 888-480-LAKE (5253) for all of your lake, stormwater pond, wetland and fisheries management needs.
Sam Sardes is a Weed Science Director and Certified Lake Management professional who oversees SOLitude’s three Florida laboratories. She focuses on conducting research and helping the company identify innovative, environmentally-sound methods to enhance the management of lakes, ponds and preserves. In addition to Sam’s primary responsibilities, she takes part in cooperative research alliances with Florida universities and associated corporate researchers. A native south Floridian, Sam holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Florida Atlantic University and a Master’s degree in Agronomy from the University of Florida. Sam has many distinctions, certifications and licenses: Green Industries Best Management Practices certification (GI-BMP), Advanced mosquito identification certification for both adults and larva -UF, Restricted Use Pesticide (RUP) (F.S. Chapter 487) license with 6 categories: Aquatic, Right of Way, Natural Areas, Turf and Ornamental, Demonstration and Research, and Forestry – Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
SOLitude Lake Management is a nationwide environmental firm committed to providing sustainable solutions that improve water quality, enhance beauty, preserve natural resources and reduce our environmental footprint. SOLitude’s team of aquatic resource management professionals specializes in the development and execution of customized lake, stormwater pond, wetland and fisheries management programs that include water quality testing and restoration, nutrient remediation, algae and aquatic weed control, installation and maintenance of fountains and aeration systems, bathymetry, shoreline erosion restoration, mechanical harvesting and hydro-raking, lake vegetation studies, biological assessments, habitat evaluations, and invasive species management. Services and educational resources are available to clients nationwide, including homeowners associations, multi-family and apartment communities, golf courses, commercial developments, ranches, private landowners, reservoirs, recreational and public lakes, municipalities, drinking water authorities, parks, and state and federal agencies. SOLitude Lake Management is a proud member of the Rentokil Steritech family of companies in North America.