Iowa DNR
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Water Quality Assessments

Impaired Waters List

Hickory Grove Lake IA 03-SSK-950

Story County S24T83NR22W 2.5 mi SW of Colo.

Assessment Cycle
2016
Release Status
Final
Release Period
2012 - 2014
Created
6/1/2016 8:23:39 AM
Overall IR Category
5 - Water is impaired or threatened and a TMDL is needed.
Trophic
Eutrophic
Trend
Declining
Last Updated
8/29/2016 2:35:16 PM
Assessments conducted in accordance with Iowa's Integrated Report methodology.
Use Support
Class A1
Recreation
Primary contact
Partially Supported
Bacteria: Indicator Bacteria- E. coli
Impairment Code
5a - Pollutant-caused impairment. TMDL needed.
Cause Magnitude
Moderate
Status
Continuing
Source
Unknown: Source Unknown
Source Confidence
N/A
Cycle Added
2008
Impairment Rationale
Geometric mean criterion exceeded
Data Source
Beach monitoring: Iowa DNR city/county
TMDL Priority
Tier II
Partially Supported
Algal Growth: Chlorophyll a
Impairment Code
5a - Pollutant-caused impairment. TMDL needed.
Cause Magnitude
Slight
Status
New
Source
Agriculture
Source Confidence
Low
Cycle Added
2016
Impairment Rationale
Narrative criteria violation: aesthetically objectionable conditions
Data Source
Ambient monitoring: Iowa DNR-lakes
TMDL Priority
Tier I
Class BLW
Aquatic Life
Lakes and wetlands
Fully Supported
Class HH
Human Health
Fully Supported
General Use
General Use water
Not Assessed
Impairment Delistings
No delistings for this assessment cycle.
Documentation
Assessment Summary

The Class A1 (primary contact recreation) uses are assessed (monitored) as “partially supported” due to levels of indicator bacteria that exceed Iowa’s water quality standard and aesthetically objectionable conditions caused by algae blooms. The Class B(LW) (aquatic life) uses are assessed (monitored) as “fully supported.” Fish consumption uses are assessed as "fully supported." Sources of data for this assessment include (1) results of the statewide survey of Iowa lakes conducted from 2010 through 2014 by Iowa State University (ISU), (2) information from the IDNR Fisheries Bureau, (3) IDNR RAFT fish tissue monitoring, and (4) IDNR fish contaminant monitoring in 2013

Assessment Explanation

Results of IDNR beach monitoring from 2012 through 2014 suggest that the Class A1 uses are "partially supported." Levels of indicator bacteria at Hickory Grove Park Beach were monitored once per week during the primary contact recreation seasons (May through September) of 2012 (17 samples), 2013 (15 samples) and 2014 (14 samples), as part of the IDNR beach monitoring program.   According to IDNR’s assessment methodology two conditions need to be met for results of beach monitoring to indicate “full support” of the Class A1 (primary contact recreation) uses: (1) the geometric mean of the samples from each recreation season of the three-year assessment period are less than the state's geometric mean criterion of 126 E.  coli orgs/100 ml and (2) not more than 10% of the samples during any one recreation season exceeds the state's single-sample maximum value of 235 E.  coli orgs/100 ml. If a sampling season geometric mean exceeds the state criterion of 1000 orgs/100 ml during the three-year assessment period, the Class A1 uses should be assessed as “not supported.” Also, if a sampling season geometric mean exceeds the state criterion of 126 orgs/100 ml during the three-year assessment period and/or if significantly more than 10% of the samples in any one of the three recreation seasons exceed Iowa's single-sample maximum value of 235 E.  coli orgs/100 ml, the Class A1 uses should be assessed as “partially supported.” This assessment approach is based on U.S.   EPA guidelines (see pgs 3-33 to 3-35 of U.S.   EPA 1997b).

At Hickory Grove Park Beach, the geometric means from 2013 and 2014 were all below the Iowa water quality standard of 126 E.  coli orgs/100 ml. The geometric mean from 2012, however, was greater than the Iowa water quality standard of 126 E.  coli orgs/100ml and therefore suggests impairment of the Class A1 uses.   The geometric mean was 196 E.  coli orgs/100 ml in 2012, 42 E.  coli orgs/100 ml in 2013 and 57 E.  coli orgs/100 ml in 2014.   The percentage of samples exceeding Iowa's single-sample maximum criterion (235 E.  coli orgs/100 ml) was 53% in 2012, 27% in 2013 and 29% in 2014.   The number of samples exceeding the single-sample maximum criterion was significantly greater than 10% in 2012, 2013 and 2014.   According to IDNR's assessment methodology and U.S.  EPA guidelines, these results suggest "partially supported" of the Class A1 uses.

For the 2016 assessment/listing cycle, the Class A1 (primary contact recreation) uses of Hickory Grove Lake are assessed (monitored) as "partially supported" due to aesthetically objectionable conditions caused by algae blooms based on information from the ISU lake survey. Using the median values from these surveys from 2010-2014 (approximately 15 samples), Carlson 's (1977) trophic state indices for Secchi depth, chlorophyll a, and total phosphorus were 63, 65, and 63 respectively for Hickory Grove Lake. According to Carlson (1977) the Secchi depth, chlorophyll a, and total phosphorus values all place Hickory Grove Lake in the Eutrophic category. These values suggest high levels of chlorophyll a and suspended algae in the water, moderately poor water transparency, and moderately high levels of phosphorus in the water column. The data show 2 violations of the Class A1 criterion for pH in 15 samples.

The level of inorganic suspended solids was relatively low at Hickory Grove Lake, and does not suggest water quality problems due to non-algal turbidity. The median level of inorganic suspended solids in Hickory Grove Lake (2.5 mg/L) was ranked 39th among the 138 lakes by the ISU lake survey.

Data from the 2010-2014 ISU lake survey suggest a moderate population of cyanobacteria exists at Hickory Grove Lake. These data show that cyanobacteria comprised 79% of the phytoplankton wet mass at this lake. The median cyanobacteria wet mass (18 mg/L) was ranked 56th of the 138 lakes sampled.

The Class B(LW) (aquatic life) uses are assessed (monitored) as "fully supported." Results of the ISU lake survey from 2010-2014 show there were no violations of the criterion for ammonia in 15 samples(0%), one violation of the criterion for dissolved oxygen in 15 samples(7%), and 2 violations of the criterion for pH in 15 samples(13%). Based on IDNR's assessment methodology these violations are not significantly greater than 10% of the samples and therefore suggest (fully supported/monitored) of the Class B(LW) uses of Hickory Grove Lake.

Information from the IDNR Fisheries Bureau suggests that high levels of nutrients enter the lake during rain events and that a restoration project is beginning.

Fish consumption uses were assessed (monitored) as “fully supported” based on results of U.S.   EPA/IDNR fish contaminant (RAFT) monitoring at Hickory Grove Lake in 2013.    The composite samples of fillets from largemouth bass and channel catfish had low levels of contaminants.    Levels of primary contaminants in the composite sample of largemouth bass fillets were as follows: mercury: 0.239 ppm.  Levels of primary contaminants in the composite sample of channel catfish fillets were as follows:  total PCBs: <0.6 ppm; and technical chlordane: <0.2 ppm.    The existence of, or potential for, a fish consumption advisory is the basis for Section 305(b) assessments of the degree to which Iowa’s lakes and rivers support their fish consumption uses.     The fish contaminant data generated from the 2013 RAFT sampling conducted at this lake show that the levels of contaminants do not exceed any of the advisory trigger levels, thus indicating no justification for issuance of a consumption advisory for this waterbody.

Monitoring and Methods
Assessment Key Dates
6/21/2010 Fixed Monitoring Start Date
9/21/2014 Fixed Monitoring End Date
8/2/2013 Fish Tissue Monitoring
9/16/2013 Fish Tissue Monitoring
Methods
120 Surveys of fish and game biologists/other professionals
222 Non-fixed-station monitoring (conventional during key seasons and flows)
260 Fish tissue analysis
340 Primary producer surveys (phytoplankton/periphyton/macrophyton)
420 Water column surveys (e.g. fecal coliform)