Geology Lunch 10/29/2019 – Lake Sediment: An Unlikely Culprit for Declining Water Quality in Lake Auburn

Come to GeoLunch, Tuesday October 29th, 12:00 – 1:00  Carnegie 219

Pizza and cider to be served while we speak about water quality, Lake Auburn, and some of the contributing factors to the lakes health.


Lake Auburn in Auburn, ME is the sole drinking water supply for the cities of Auburn and Lewiston, including the Bates College campus. The local water districts are exempt from federal surface water filtration regulations because of the lake’s historically high water quality. In 2011 and 2012, Lake Auburn experienced a sudden decrease in water quality, including blue-green algae blooms. The sudden and short-lived decline in water quality was linked to internal phosphorus loading from the lake sediment.  Internal phosphorus loading is controlled by sediment chemistry and can play an important role lake nutrient budgets and management practices. This presentation will discuss the mechanisms governing internal nutrient loading and why watershed management efforts may not always be enough