Lake Water Quality Lake of the Ozarks

What the experts are saying about Lake of the Ozarks water quality

Lake Regional Health System did not report any infections that may have been caused by waterborne E. coli to the Missouri Department of
Health and Senior Services in 2008 or 2009. One case was reported in 2007, but the source never was determined.

Dan Sabourin, R.N., MBA
Director of Occupational Health and Safety,
Lake Regional Health System

“If the Lake were filled with pollutants and contaminants, fishing would not be a multi-million dollar industry with hundreds of tournaments drawing thousands of anglers season after season.  There would be no egrets, eagles, herons, kingfishers, or osprey who depend on the fisheries for their food source. If you don’t have a healthy environment, you are not going to have a healthy fish population.”

Greg Stoner
Missouri Department of Conservation
Fisheries Biologist

Aug 2008
“All fresh water streams, lakes and rivers, including Lake of the Ozarks, have E. coli, but it is by no means a contaminated body of water.  One of the issues on Lake of the Ozarks that is different from other waterways is the shoreline development.  That means more potential sources for problems.  As would be true with any lake or river, swimmers should avoid drinking the water and take other normal precautions such as washing their hands before handling food, but it is safe to come and swim, ski and enjoy the water.”

Kevin Hess
Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Springfield Regional Office

Aprl 2009
“Despite some higher numbers in May and June 2008 partly due to heavy rain events, the overall numbers for the year were very similar to 2007 and indicate overall good health for the Lake in terms of bacterial levels.”

Scott Robinett
Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Water Quality Specialist

“Considering the level of development around the Lake, I personally thought the values would be much higher.  I have been pleasantly surprised by the low bacteria values found at nearly every cove monitored at the Lake of the Ozarks so far.”

Tony Thorpe
University of Missouri – Columbia
Coordinator Lakes of Missouri Volunteer Program

"Lake of the Ozarks is a healthy lake, we (LOWA and the lake community) are being proactive to protect the Lake. We want to keep it healthy for the future."

Donna Swall
Executive Director
Lake of the Ozarks Watershed Alliance

"The Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) December 2009 Water Quality Report indicates that the overall water quality of the Lake is generally good and fairly typical of most Midwestern reservoirs. Monitoring performed by MDNR and others previous to this particular
sampling event also demonstrates that overall quality of the Lake of the Ozarks is typically good.   In 2009, relatively elevated levels of
bacteria were observed during isolated events that were apparently affected by wet weather, a condition that is typical of runoff influenced
water quality conditions throughout the state."

Randy Crawford
Senior Water Quality Scientist
Geosyntec Consultants