The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation began EPA approved intensive water quality monitoring in August 2000, in an effort to educate the public about water quality and to lend evidence for the retraction of swimming advisories along the shore of Lake Pontchartrain. As of 2006, Lake Pontchartrain was removed from Louisiana DEQ's Impaired Water Bodies list except for a sliver along the south shore which is still under review.
Ten historically recreational sites are sampled on a weekly basis and another ten sites of interest are sampled on a monthly basis. Several water quality parameters, including fecal coliform bacteria levels, are tested. (Fecal coliform levels below 200 indicate the water is safe for swimming.) The weekly sites are tested every Tuesday morning for data to be disseminated on Fridays (due to bacteria analysis- a process that takes 48 hours). Please be aware that rainfall causes spikes in bacteria counts. You can find more information on the site locations here.
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