Bolton Bay (Lake George, Warren County) Water Quality Assessment

A Monitoring Program to Evaluate Current Water Quality Issues

Prepared June 2017 by:

Jim Sutherland, Ph.D.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (retired) 166 Main Street
Greenwich, New York 12834

Chris Navitsky, P.E.
The Lake George Waterkeeper P.O. Box 591
Lake George, New York 12845

Read the full report


The Bolton Wastewater Treatment Plant (Bolton WWTP) is located in the Town of Bolton, Warren County, New York, along the western shoreline, within the Lake Champlain drainage basin, and appears on the United State Geological Survey (USGS) 15 minute quadrangle map, Bolton Landing, New York. Treated effluent from the facility discharged to infiltration sand beds on the property for final polishing becomes incorporated into the local ground water. The individual sand beds used for effluent discharge determine whether the resulting ground water enters the Mohican Road Tributary or Stewart Brook watersheds.

A comprehensive monitoring program that focused on the Bolton WWTP, its effect on local ground water and the Mohican Road Tributary and Stewart Brook watersheds was initiated in April 2016 and completed during May 2017. The program included water sample and field data collection from ground water wells, seepage streams, the Mohican Road Tributary and Stewart Brook, as well as an evaluation of recent treatment plant SPDES permit DMRs.

There were 20 field excursions and 196 water samples collected during the 14ÔÇÉmonth program period from a total of 15 sampling stations. Sample collection and sample processing were conducted according to standard US EPA protocol and samples were submitted to the Darrin Fresh Water Institute Laboratory, which is certified by the New York State Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELAP).

The results from the monitoring program reported herein corroborate the results from studies conducted by Fuhs in the early 1970s and the Rensselaer Fresh Water Institute during the early 1980s. That is, the treatment plant effluent becomes incorporated into the local ground water and moves toward the lower elevations, entering the Mohican Road Tributary and Stewart Brook, which eventually flow into Bolton Bay (Lake George). The magnitude of the nutrient loading problem that has occurred during the previous four decades is analyzed and discussed in the report. There are recommendations presented in the report that, if followed, will minimize the current impact of the Bolton WWTP on water quality in the region until sources of funding can be located and operational upgrades can be implemented at the treatment facility.

Read the full report