Hydrology and water quality of Wind Lake in southeastern Wisconsin

Water-Resources Investigations Report 91-4107




The hydrology and water quality of Wind Lake--a recreational lake in a densely populated area of southeastern Wisconsin--were studied from October 1987 through September 1989. A drought in 1988 affected the hydrologic budget of Wind Lake in water years 1988-89. Surface runoff was the dominant source of water to the lake in water year 1988 and 75 percent of the inflow was from Big Muskego Lake. The water 1eve1 in Big Muskego Lake was 1.1 feet below the dam crest at the start of the 1989 water year because of the 1988 drought. About 2510 acre-feet of water had to fill Big Muskego Lake before water could discharge to Wind Lake. In water year 1989, surface runoff was sti11 the dominant source of water to the lake, but Muskego Lake only contributed 52 percent of the water inflow. Streamflow dominated the outflow budget for both years. On the basis of outflow from Wind Lake for water year 1988, the hydraulic residence time was 0.46 year; in water year 1989 it was 1.05 years. The total phosphorus input to Wind Lake from external sources was the same for both years, 3160 pounds. Phosphorus retention in the lake was small and averaged 14 percent of the incoming load for both years. Oxygen depletion occurred in the bottom waters during winter and summer months. A maximum anoxic zone was reached on July 18, 1988, when depths greater than 15 ft (about 21 percent of the lake bottom area) were anoxic. Total phosphorus concentrations at the lake surface for both years ranged from 11 to 78 microg/L. Mean total phosphorus concentrations in June, July, and August that had averaged 49 microg/L in 1985 through 1987 declined to 20 microg/L in water year 1988 and 22 microg/L in water year 1989. This reduction was related to the drought and reduced phosphorus loadings. Phosphorus concentrations 1.5 ft above the lake bottom increased during summer anoxic periods. Algal populations in water year 1988 ranged from 28,200 to 1,610,000 cells/ml. Aphanocapsa delicatissima caused the largest algal bloom, which reached a maximum concentration of 934,000 cells/m1 (September 7, 1988). Zooplankton populations in water year 1988 ranged from 52.5 to 686 organisms/L. The cladoceran Daphnia dominated 12 of the 18 samples.

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Hydrology and water quality of Wind Lake in southeastern Wisconsin
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Water-Resources Investigations Report
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U.S. Geological Survey ; U.S.G.S. Earth Science Information Center, Open-File Reports Section [distributor],
vii, 61 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.