The function of lakes and their productivity are driven by nutrient input from the watershed and release from sediments and even the organisms in the water column. For reliable assessment of lakes it is necessary to be able to measure not just the total nutrients, like phosphorus and nitrogen, but also the various components important to biological activity, including soluble reactive phosphorus or dissolved inorganic nitrogen. In addition, it is important to be able to measure these forms at very low (2-5 parts per billion), but biologically relevant, levels. GEI provides such assessment and analysis services.
There is a growing interest in the affects of nutrients to water bodies, with particular emphasis on the eutrophication of lakes—the conditions that reflect excess nutrients, algal blooms, “scum”. Lake studies (limnology) are generally comprised of physical (e.g., dissolved oxygen, temperature), chemical (e.g., phosphorus, nitrogen, calcium), and biological (e.g., chlorophyll, plankton, fish) sampling. Such studies may also include a watershed component to address the sources of nutrients to lake systems and the effects of nutrient control strategies on lake conditions.
GEI offers expert advice, consulting, testing, and other services to help clients better understand the ecological issues relevant to their situation. Unlike most “labs” that perform standard “pass/fail” testing, GEI’s scientists work closely with clients to develop innovative solutions to challenging regulatory requirements.