Muskegon County Drain Monitoring

Drain monitoring

White Lake (Muskegon County, MI) receives nutrients from the surrounding watershed, which can result in water quality impairment and potentially fuel algal blooms (Steinman et al. 2009).  The White River was implicated in delivering 98% of the total phosphorus and 96% of the total nitrogen to White Lake in the 1960s (Freedman et al. 1979), but increased lakeshore development and year-round residential use in the past two decades have raised concerns about other nutrient inputs from the watershed (Steinman et al. 2009).

The goal of this project is to evaluate the general water quality characteristics of Mason Drain, a tributary entering White Lake from the south, and Pierson Drain, a tributary entering White Lake from the north. Monthly monitoring of a comprehensive suite of nutrient parameters and physical properties will provide a general assessment of the drains' water quality, and information to determine if more detailed investigation of water quality impairment is warranted.


Freedman, P.L., R.P. Canale, and M.T. Auer. 1979.  Applicability of land treatment of wastewater in the Great Lakes area basin: Impact of wastewater diversion, spray irrigation on water quality in the Muskegon County, Michigan, lakes.  U.S. EPA Report, EPA-905/9-79-006-A.

Steinman, A.D., M. Ogdahl, and M. Luttenton.  2009. An analysis of internal phosphorus loading in White Lake, Michigan.  Pages:  311-324.  In:  Lake Pollution Research Progress, F.R. Miranda and L.M. Bernard (editors). Nova Science Publ., New York.

This project is funded by Muskegon County, and is being carried out under the direction of the Drain Commissioner.


Al Steinman, AWRI Project Manager:
Mary Ogdahl, Lead Technician: