Open Water Sampling

The Fishers Health and Water Quality programs provide open water testing information for 40 creek and open water locations they test. 9 area results are published monthly during spring, summer and fall. See explanations of what we test and the results below.

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Water Temperature

Aquatic organisms thrive in warmer water and bacteria grows faster at higher temperatures. Higher temperatures combined with sediment from agricultural waste or leaking septic tanks during a rain event can increase the pathogenic bacteria levels such as E. coli. Fishers has both urban and agricultural runoff inputs into the watershed which affects our water quality. Learn more.

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Dissolved Oxygen (DO)

DO is essential for aquatic life. Low levels of oxygen (hypoxia) or no oxygen (anoxia) can occur when excess organic materials, such as large algal blooms, are decomposed by microorganisms. During this decomposition process, DO in the water is consumed. Low oxygen levels often occur in the bottom of the water column and affect organisms that live in the sediments. In some bodies of water, DO levels fluctuate periodically, seasonally, and even as part of the natural daily ecology of the aquatic resource. As DO levels drop, some sensitive animals may move away, decline in health or even perish (U.S. EPA). Moving or flowing water, like streams, tend to have more DO than a lake or pond. Details.

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E. coli

Wherever you have humans or wildlife in contact with water, you have the potential for waterborne disease. Since E. coli is a naturally occurring bacteria found in warm-blooded animals, it is used as an indicator for other harmful bacteria and viruses in the water environment. Humans naturally affect water quality by land use practices (agricultural, residential, wastewater etc.), recreational use (swimming, fishing, boating etc.), and drinking water withdrawal and treatment. Major waterborne diseases include dysentery, Hepatitis A and bacterial and viral gastroenteritis (E. coli). Monitoring for these bacteria is a vital component to public health. While fecal coliform, E. coli, does not necessarily cause disease, it is an indicator of disease-causing organisms. Learn more.

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We are not able to test for Algae. IDEM is one of the few locations that do, they however are only able to test designated state locations. Citizen’s Water does tests different types of algae and have agreed to notify Fishers Health Department in cases of problematic concerns. Notification will be made at that time.   

Posted Sample Waterway Areas

Sampling Location Address Notes
10800 Florida Rd. Fall Creeks first comes into Fishers
Fall Creek at Canal Place 14400 Geist Ridge Dr.  Fall Creek starts to empty into Geist.
Geist Reservoir  10999 Olio Rd.  Geist Boat Ramp
Geist Reservoir 11695 Fall Creek Rd. Geist Marina
Geist Reservoir 10500 Geist Cove Way Sometimes known as Family Cove
Geist Reservoir 12300 Water Ridge Dr Cambridge Cove
Geist Waterfront Park 10811 Olio Rd. Fishers Park on Geist
White River 6100 Wahpihani Dr. Ramp into White River at 116th St.
Lake Stonebridge Center 11499 Lake  Ln. Private lake used by residents

Sampled Once Per Year

Lake Stonebridge East 11430 Lake Stone Bridge Ln.              Lake Stonebridge East Side
Lake Stonebridge West 10300 Brixton Ln                                Private ramp for Lake Stonebridge residents

Public Notice  

Frequent unsatisfactory levels at Geist Park and White River are a result of our waterways being in the Upper White River Watershed.  We receive both urban and agricultural run-off during high rain events. Besides the farmland and older septic systems upstream, our urban and suburban expansion areas are rapidly increasing making it particularly susceptible to anthropogenic influences related to both agricultural practices as well as effects of urbanization (IUPUI). Surface waters are directly affected by these various sources of contamination carrying E. coli into the watershed. The more vegetated areas with grasses tend to soak up rainfall, directly increasing infiltration into the ground and reducing run-off into our recreational waterways. Land that has been developed with streets, roof tops, sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots are impervious and create run-off into storm drains that eventually lead to our waterways. In the agricultural areas, run-off can come from fields and animals. Heavy rain events wash manure from land into the waterways. An increase of E. coli is generally seen after these rain events as well as when water temperatures rise. E. coli is adapted to living in the intestines of warm-blooded animals, so it naturally thrives in warmer temperatures. Point source discharges such as septic system failures, storm water outfalls and wastewater treatment plant overflows also directly input E. coli into recreational waterways.  

We added an additional water sampling location on Fall Creek as it enters the reservoir east of the Olio bridge, (Fall Creek at Canal Place).  Here we are better able to compare water quality as it enters the reservoir. We again test it at the Olio Road boat ramp as it flows south further into the reservoir, along with added samplings in “Family Cove” and “Cambridge Cove”. These samplings will have direct relation to where we find most relaxing in the water.   

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