Aquatic Biomonitoring – an OPAL Water project

How healthy are our lakes and ponds?

In this project we visited each of the nine lakes being monitored every three months to analyse:

  • physical: water clarity, temperature, conductivity, oxygen profiles
  • chemical: major ions, nutrients
  • biological: zooplankton, phytoplankton, diatoms

We conducted annual surveys of aquatic plants and invertebrates and recorded any changes from year to year to assess key water quality indicators which local communities can continue to monitor in the future.

Monitoring partners

Sediment sampling
As sediment (mud) accumulates at the bottom of lakes it stores a record of change within the lake over time. By taking a deep narrow column of this mud, known as a sediment core, we can look back at the history of the lake and assess how pollution inputs have changed over time.


Read our final report

Pond lifeDelve beneath the surface of England's lakes with the OPAL Water Centre Monitoring Report 2008-2012, which reveals the results of our four-year studies at lakes across England.

Explore the findings in the report



The Aquatic Biomonitoring project was led by University College London.