The state of Lake Champlain:
Although the water quality trends in Lake Champlain are cause for concern, it is important to know that more than 85% of Lake Champlain’s water is consistently of excellent quality and another 13% of the water is usually in quite good condition. In the remaining 2% of the Lake, conditions are seasonally alarming. The most compromised parts of the Lake are St. Albans and Missisquoi Bays, where excess nutrients and other factors trigger blue-green algae blooms in summer, and the South Lake, where the water tends to be quite muddy.
Too Much Phosphorus?
Yes, phosphorus concentrations remain too high.
Excess phosphorus remains a concern in nearly all segments of the Lake. Reductions in phosphorus load have been observed in a few tributaries over the last decade, but these small improvements have not yet resulted in significant reductions of in-lake phosphorus concentrations. Wastewater treatment facilities are generally meeting their phosphorus effluent targets, but much work remains to reduce nutrients washing off of the landscape. Until phosphorus concentrations in the Lake are closer to the established targets, algae blooms will continue to form when weather conditions are favorable for intense growth.