Illinois State Library

Electronic Documents of Illinois

Electronic Documents of Illinois

Document Identification

Users should pay particular attention to version identification or dates of publication of documents retrieved. Earlier, possibly superseded, versions of documents are also stored here.


  • Watershed monitoring for the Lake Decatur watershed, 1998-1999


  • Lake Decatur is the water supply reservoir for the City of Decatur. The reservoir was created in 1922 by constructing a dam to impound the flow of the Sangamon River with an original water volume of 20,000 acre-feet and an area of 4.4 square miles. The dam was later modified in 1956 to increase the maximum capacity of the lake to 28,000 acre-feet. Water withdrawal from the lake has been increasing over the years, averaging 37 million gallons per day (mgd) in 1994. The drainage area of the Sangamon River upstream of Decatur is 925 square miles. The watershed includes portions of seven counties in east-central Illinois. The predominant land use in the watershed is row crop agriculture comprising nearly 90 percent of the land area. The major urban areas within the watershed are Decatur, Monticello, and Gibson City. Lake Decatur has high concentrations of total dissolved solids and nitrates, and nitrate concentrations have been exceeding drinking water standards in recent years. This has created a serious situation for the drinking water supply of the City of Decatur. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) has issued nine nitrate warnings to the city from 1979 to 1996 for noncompliance with Nitrate-N concentrations in Lake Decatur have exceeded the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) drinking water standards for nitrate when concentrations exceeded of 10 milligrams per liter (mg/l) for the period between 1979 and 1998, except from 1993 to 1995. On June 10, 1992, a Letter of Commitment (LOC) was signed between the IEPA and the City of Decatur. The LOC requires the city to take several steps to reduce nitrate levels in Lake Decatur to acceptable concentrations within nine years of signing the LOC. Nitrate-N cannot be removed from finished drinking water through regular water purification processes. One of the steps required the city to conduct an initial two-year monitoring study of the Lake Decatur watershed to better understand nitrate yields in the watershed. In 1993, the Illinois State Water Survey received a grant from the City of Decatur, conducted a two-year monitoring study, and developed land use management strategies that could assist the city comply with the IEPA drinking water standards (Demissie et al., 1996). This technical report presents the annual data for all six years of monitoring (May 1993-April 1999) and monthly data for the sixth year of monitoring (May 1998-April 1999).

Originally Deposited as: 999999994310

Published By:
Phone Number:

Language(s): EN-English

Volume or Year: 2000
Number or Issue:

Date Created: 9 24 2004
Date Last Modified: 5 13 2003

Librarian Remarks:

Access This Publication

1. Watershed monitoring for the Lake Decatur watershed, 1998-1999 (20060930184431_ISWSCR2000-06.pdf).
Document Size:457997 Software: Adobe Acrobat Version: 7.0