Irondequoit Bay Water Quality


Water Quality History

Irondequoit Bay has been in a eutrophic state for the past several decades. This eutrophic state is caused by an enrichment in nutrients like phosphorous and nitrogen. This nutrient dense state of the bay has been subjected to the problems of advanced eutrophication such as algal blooms. When these algal blooms decompose, they deplete the oxygen levels available in the water, making it inhabitable for some aquatic life. However, since 1968, plans were undertaken to improve the water quality of the bay. In 1978 and 1979, the abundance of nutrient loadings from wastewater were diverted from Irondequoit Creek to the Van Lare Wastewater Treatment Facility. This was followed by significant work to reduce sewer overflow discharges into the bay. Subsequent monitoring indicated a significant reduction in the nutrient phosphorus loading from the creek to the bay. 

Irondequoit Bay Watershed

(click map to enlarge)
Water Quality Map Preview

Bay Monitoring Program

The Monroe County Department Environmental Services manages the monitoring program. Irondequoit Bay has 31 years of monitoring records dating back to 1984. The frequency of monitoring has varied over this period. Years of high-intensity monitoring were often the result of a large-scale intervention such as the alum treatment or the start of oxygenation. Current monitoring can be thought of as “strategic monitoring” where staff and resources are utilized to continue the decades-long effort to provide the specific data required to determine the health of the bay.

(click map to enlarge)
Bay Monitoring Map Preview

For more information on water quality    [email protected]