WTAMU studies Lake Meredith water quality, microbes after summer rainfall

Published: Sep. 6, 2023 at 5:46 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 6, 2023 at 6:10 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - After persistent rainfall this summer, West Texas A&M University is conducting a study on microbes and water quality on Lake Meredith.

The study will focus on how varying microorganisms in and around the lake are affected by heat, water levels and salt content.

“There’s two goals; one is public safety and better understanding the water quality. The second one is just understanding the fundamental science of like this interesting lake in an arid environment and how do the microbes, these millions of little critters change as the lake changes,” said Assistant Professor at West Texas A&M University Dr. Erik Crosman.

Public safety is one of the things they will mainly be focusing on.

“Lubbock and Amarillo use water from Lake Meredith and as well as over one million people a year visit. Huge fishing and boating destination, so it’s an important lake for us to understand,” said Dr. Crosman.

This is the first study to be done on a semi-arid reservoir like Meredith, which changes frequently.

“It’s been studied a lot in like Canada and the Midwest, those lakes are far different than our arid reservoirs. We want to understand the quality of the water and understand the science and microbes in there,” Dr. Crosman said.

The study, which began in March, will go though the end of December.

“In order to get a full annual cycle of the increase in the microbes and then the seasonal decrease as the water gets cooler,” said Dr. Crosman.

WTAMU says there’s no concerns for the water quality of the lake at this time in terms of drinking and recreational use,