Welcome to Aquatic Environmental Services, Inc.


Water Quality Testing

To gain more information on you particular body of water, AES conducts a water quality analysis to determine several key water quality parameters. Based off of these results, AES can then implement specific recommendations in order to improve your water quality.

Standard Water Quality Analysis Includes:

Water temperature influences almost all other water quality parameters and is often the first data collected during a water quality analysis. Water temperature plays a role in the reproduction of most fish species and determines what fish species are able to survive in a particular pond/lake. Most importantly, temperature influences the amount of oxygen the water can hold.

Dissolved oxygen (DO) is a measure of the amount of oxygen available to aquatic organisms and is reported as milligrams per liter (mg/L) or percent saturation. Percent saturation is a measure of how much oxygen is dissolved in the water relative to the maximum amount of oxygen that can be held in the water at a specific temperature. Dissolved oxygen levels fluctuate daily and are lowest in the early morning hours. DO does not pose a problem for fish until levels fall below 4 mg/L. Pond/lake stratification can create distinct DO levels at different depths during the warm summer months.
pH is a measure of the concentration of hydrogen ions present in water. pH determines whether the tested water is acidic (pH<7) or alkaline (pH>7) compared to neutral water (pH=7). Most aquatic organisms prefer pH levels between 6.5 and 9. The pH fluctuates daily due to the complex interactions of carbon dioxide, photosynthesis and respiration. Ponds/lakes usually experience their lowest pH levels of the day during the early morning hours.
Alkalinity is defined as the quantity of base present in water. The most common bases include carbonates, bicarbonates, hydroxides, and phosphates. Alkalinity is reported as milligrams of calcium carbonate per milliliter of water (mg CaCO3/L). Alkalinity determines the buffering capacity of a pond/lake. A good buffering capacity absorbs introductions of acids and bases with little change in pH levels. By maintaining desired pH levels, nutrients are more available to phytoplankton resulting in a pond/lake that has an increased carrying capacity. Levels below 20 mg/L should be increased with the addition of 4-6 tons per acre of agricultural lime.
Hardness is a measure of the quantity of divalent ions in water. In Georgia, calcium and magnesium carbonate account for the majority of water hardness. Alkalinity is closely related to hardness as both are reported as mg CaCO3/L. Hardness levels affect the toxicity of some algaecides, limit phytoplankton formation and play a role in fish growth. Levels below 20 mg/L should be increased with the addition of 4-6 tons per acre of agricultural lime.
Visibility is measured with the use of a secchi disc. A white and black disc measuring 20 cm in diameter is lowered vertically through the water until it can no longer be seen. Suspended particles reduce visibility levels. Therefore, in the absence of turbidity from silt or mud, the secchi disc serves as the international standard to indicate phytoplankton density. This is critical to determine when conducting a fertilization program.

Specialized Water Quality Analysis Includes:

AES uses an accredited laboratory to determine fecal coliform concentrations. Fecal coliform counts measure the concentration of the bacteria Escherichia coli in water. This bacteria is specific to the guts of birds and mammals, including humans, and is not harmful unless present in high numbers. Fecal coliform can originate from human or animal sources and counts are often higher after rain events. Observed levels are not of a concern unless counts exceed 100 colonies per 100 milliliters of pond/lake water. High levels indicate a sewage leak, animal waste in the watershed or excessively high numbers of waterfowl utilizing the pond/lake (Usually Canada Geese in our region).

Depending on your situation knowing nutrient levels is critical on determining algae growth. Our fishery clients need to know what is the limiting nutrient promoting good phytoplankton growth. While Phosphorus is limiting in most case some times of the year Nitrogen might be limited or the N:P may be skewed to favor cyanobacteria instead of preferred green phytoplankton. For the aesthetic client knowing nutrient levels can help us determine best ways to help control algae and vegetation.

We can determine the algae composition, classification, and biomass. This is again critical to the fishery client to know what species is most prevalent in the lake. If it is determined you have a high abundance of cyanobacteria we suggest you have cyanotoxin analyses performed. This is critical information for the lake owner as with increased toxicity levels you may need to shutdown swimming or other recreational activities before harmful pathogens cause adverse effects.