Open Water Sampling
The Fishers Health and Water Quality programs are working together to provide our residents and guests open water information in Fishers. We have several waterways where enthusiasts enjoy swimming, boating, kayaking, fishing, and other water sports. We are fortunate to have flowing creeks, the White River, Saxony Beach, and Geist Reservoir to enjoy. We also have private open water areas neighborhood residents can enjoy such as Lake Stonebridge.
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Our largest open water gathering spot is Geist Reservoir. Geist was constructed in 1943 by damming Fall Creek to provide water to the Indianapolis area.
Our Water Quality division has 40 creek and open water locations they test. We have selected nine areas that will be published monthly during the spring, summer and fall seasons where we find our residents enjoying those waterways most. We will be posting the following results:
Aquatic organisms thrive in warmer water. Bacteria also grows faster at higher temperatures. Higher temperatures combined with sediment from agricultural waste or leaking septic tanks during a rain event can increase the pathogenic bacteria levels such as E. coli. Fishers has both urban and agricultural runoff inputs into the watershed which affects our water quality. Learn more.
Dissolved Oxygen (DO)
DO is essential for aquatic life. Low levels of oxygen (hypoxia) or no oxygen (anoxia) can occur when excess organic materials, such as large algal blooms, are decomposed by microorganisms. During this decomposition process, DO in the water is consumed. Low oxygen levels often occur in the bottom of the water column and affect organisms that live in the sediments. In some bodies of water, DO levels fluctuate periodically, seasonally, and even as part of the natural daily ecology of the aquatic resource. As DO levels drop, some sensitive animals may move away, decline in health or even perish (U.S. EPA). Moving or flowing water, like streams, tend to have more DO than a lake or pond. Details.
Wherever you have humans or wildlife in contact with water, you have the potential for waterborne disease. Since E. coli is a naturally occurring bacteria found in warm-blooded animals, it is used as an indicator for other harmful bacteria and viruses in the water environment. Humans naturally affect water quality by land use practices (agricultural, residential, wastewater etc.), recreational use (swimming, fishing, boating etc.), and drinking water withdrawal and treatment. Major waterborne diseases include dysentery, Hepatitis A and bacterial and viral gastroenteritis (E. coli). Monitoring for these bacteria is a vital component to public health. While fecal coliform, E. coli, does not necessarily cause disease, it is an indicator of disease-causing organisms. Learn more.
We are not able to test for Algae. IDEM is one of the few locations that do, they however are only able to test designated state locations. Citizen’s Water does tests different types of algae and have agreed to notify Fishers Health Department in cases of problematic concerns. Notification will be made at that time.
Posted Sample Waterway Areas
|10800 Florida Rd.||Fall Creeks first comes into Fishers|
|Fall Creek at Canal Place||14400 Geist Ridge Dr.||Fall Creek starts to empty into Geist.|
|Geist Reservoir||10999 Olio Rd.||Geist Boat Ramp|
|Geist Reservoir||11695 Fall Creek Rd.||Geist Marina|
|Geist Reservoir||10500 Geist Cove Way||Sometimes known as Family Cove|
|Geist Reservoir||12300 Water Ridge Dr||Cambridge Cove|
|Geist Waterfront Park||10811 Olio Rd.||Fishers Park on Geist|
|White River||6100 Wahpihani Dr.||Ramp into White River at 116th St.|
|Lake Stonebridge Center||11499 Lake Ln.||Private lake used by residents|
Sampled Once Per Year
|Lake Stonebridge East||11430 Lake Stone Bridge Ln.||Lake Stonebridge East Side|
|Lake Stonebridge West||10300 Brixton Ln||Private ramp for Lake Stonebridge residents|
Frequent unsatisfactory levels at Geist Park and White River are a result of our waterways being in the Upper White River Watershed. We receive both urban and agricultural run-off during high rain events. Besides the farmland and older septic systems upstream, our urban and suburban expansion areas are rapidly increasing making it particularly susceptible to anthropogenic influences related to both agricultural practices as well as effects of urbanization (IUPUI). Surface waters are directly affected by these various sources of contamination carrying E. coli into the watershed. The more vegetated areas with grasses tend to soak up rainfall, directly increasing infiltration into the ground and reducing run-off into our recreational waterways. Land that has been developed with streets, roof tops, sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots are impervious and create run-off into storm drains that eventually lead to our waterways. In the agricultural areas, run-off can come from fields and animals. Heavy rain events wash manure from land into the waterways. An increase of E. coli is generally seen after these rain events as well as when water temperatures rise. E. coli is adapted to living in the intestines of warm-blooded animals, so it naturally thrives in warmer temperatures. Point source discharges such as septic system failures, storm water outfalls and wastewater treatment plant overflows also directly input E. coli into recreational waterways.
We added an additional water sampling location on Fall Creek as it enters the reservoir east of the Olio bridge, (Fall Creek at Canal Place). Here we are better able to compare water quality as it enters the reservoir. We again test it at the Olio Road boat ramp as it flows south further into the reservoir, along with added samplings in “Family Cove” and “Cambridge Cove”. These samplings will have direct relation to where we find most relaxing in the water.
- IDEM Water Quality
- IDEM Watershed and Nonpoint Source Pollution
- IDEM Hoosier Riverwatch Program
- DNR Division of Water
- Indiana Water Monitoring Council
- The White River Alliance
- United States Geological Survey Stream Flow Data
- Natural Resources Conservation Service
- Indiana Water Monitoring Inventory
- Marion County Public Health Department Surface Water Program
- EPA Recreational Water Quality Criteria