West Point Lake Water Quality Studies: 1987-1990
West Point Lake is a U.S. Corps of Engineers impoundment of the Chattahoochee River located approximately 70 miles downstream of Atlanta. The lake was impounded in 1974 with full pool achieved in May 1975. Even before impoundment, West Point Lake was the subject of extensive study. The pre-impoundment study predicted the lake would be eutrophic due to the loading of nutrients from the Atlanta metropolitan area (U.S. EPA, 1972). Subsequent to impoundment, studies have been conducted by the Environmental Protection Division (EPD, 1975, 1988, 1989, 1990), the Corps of Engineers (USACOE, 1984; Bayne et al., 1986), and The U.S. Geological Survey (Cherry et al., 1978; Radtke, 1986). In 1987, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources began a joint study with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to ascertain the overall lake trophic status. This study was prompted by concern over increased nutrient loadings caused by the expansion of upstream water pollution control plants, diversion of treated wastewaters from the South and Flint River basins to the Chattahoochee River, low flow from drought conditions, and some preliminary work conducted by EPA in 1986 (Raschke, 1987). The joint study was conducted for two years and has been continued by Georgia DNR in order to monitor expected changes resulting from reduced point-source loadings. This paper summarizes data gathered prior to substantive point source phosphorus reductions scheduled to be in place by the end of 1991.