Water Quality at LSPA

LSPA Water Quality Laboratory 

Lake Sunapee Protective Association (LSPA), in cooperation with the N.H. Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) and Colby-Sawyer College (CSC), has one of the most extensive water testing programs in New England. 

A water quality laboratory, supported by the LSPA/DES/CSC partnership, is located in New London, NH, on the CSC campus.  This facility serves as the only NHDES satellite water quality lab in the state.

Data from the LSPA testing program is sent directly to the DES Volunteer Lake Assessment Program (VLAP), where it is evaluated and used to make important decisions concerning the watersheds of more than 25 lakes in the area.  In 2018, the total number of tests done within the statewide VLAP program was 12,740.  During the same year, the total number of tests done at the LSPA supported facility was 3,262 - 25.6% of that total.  Of the 3,262 samples analyzed at LSPA's lab, 44% were for Lake Sunapee and 56% were for other lakes in the area.

LSPA's Laboratory Internships

Through the LSPA internship program, student interns are chosen each summer to help with the VLAP workload.  The learning outcomes achieved during this twelve week internship include:

  • Gaining knowledge about the parameters used to measure water quality.

  • Mastering laboratory methods.

  • Acquiring skills specific to water quality testing.

  • Gaining hands-on experience collecting water samples.

  • Understanding how human activities affect water quality and watersheds.

  • Learning about the operation of a non-profit organization.

By the end of the internship period, interns will have mastered all areas of water quality testing, including sample collection and handling, computer login, and test result entry.   They will learn to perform pH, conductivity, turbidity, E.coli, chlorophyll-a, and total phosphorus testing protocols.  Interns will also be able to perform appropriate Quality Control/Quality Assurance procedures with appropriate documentation, and all other tasks necessary for the daily operation of the Lab.