In 2014, John Snakenberg, a long-time member of the Board of Directors of the Friends of Lake Jackson, became aware of the importance of monitoring the water quality of the lake. John contacted the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFIS), statewide Lake Watch Program. This program provided training to John and his colleagues so that proper quality control could be maintained for the measurements and sampling of Lake Jackson.
The samples are collected at six stations around the lake. Some water quality parameters are actually measured directly while on the water and when water algae samples are collected from the lake for later analysis. These samples are then frozen and later chemically analyzed at UF. In addition, monthly monitoring of three of the six stations adds to the Lake Watch data collected between 2002 and 2011.
It also augments the quarterly monitoring of all six stations done by the Leon County Stormwater staff.
This monitoring information provides an important detailed record of the water quality as it changes seasonally and from year-to-year. Monitoring water quality is also important because it helps direct the planning and
construction of additional water quality control facilities needed to limit storm water nutrient loads. Rainfall events that occur in the forty-three square mile drainage basin for the lake are the source of most of the nutrients entering the lake
And highly important, the data obtained from successive monitoring events allows for the identification of trends and also provides an informed basis for requesting and obtaining action by state and local government agencies to create and enforce vital lake protection environmental policies. All this helps to ensure that Lake Jackson stays healthy for everyone who uses it and is directly or indirectly affected by it.