Good water quality is vitally important to all who live and recreate on the Quiet Lakes. The definition of “good” may vary individually; but most of us can agree that we want the water in Teal, Lost Land, and Ghost lakes to be safe and suitable for swimming (think grandchildren), drinking (think pets), irrigating gardens, sustaining healthy populations of fish and wildlife, and nurturing human souls in moments of quiet reflection.

Maintaining good water quality requires conscious action by landowners in the watershed who control what enters our lakes by surface runoff from precipitation and the seepage of groundwater. Therefore, each member of the Quiet Lakes Improvement Association (QLIA) can play a vital role in maintaining the “good” water quality that significantly defines our quality of life here on the lakes.

Water quality can be complicated because, in the end, it’s about water chemistry. But we will attempt to monitor and understand what we need to know about Quiet Lakes water quality because it is so important to our well-being. This page is subdivided into three critical aspects of water quality and its management:

1) Quality of Lake Water — monitored by QLIA volunteers with technical assistance and partial funding from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

2) Wastewater (Septic System) Management — monitored by individual system owners and commercial tank pumpers during mandatory triennial inspections, and coordinated by the Sawyer County Land and Water Conservation Department

3) Quality of Drinking Water — monitored by individual well owners with technical assistance from the Sawyer County Land and Water Conservation Department

QLIA’s Water Quality Program Leader is Michelle Keil. A former chemist, Michelle now coordinates water quality monitoring by QLIA volunteers as part of Wisconsin’s Citizen Lake Monitoring Network. She assumed this volunteer role from Bryan Neuswanger in 2021 after Bryan successfully added Lost Land Lake to the program. During the 2021 open-water season, Michelle will be joined in this effort by Carol Jarzyna, who will perform the monitoring on Teal Lake while Michelle monitors Lost Land Lake and provides overall program coordination.