Big Eleven Lake may be little, but it has a long and rich history. Built in 1911 as part of the Waterway Park Complex, it is the last remnant of a once big and beautiful park. Area residents fondly remember a time when Big Eleven was used for family outings and celebrations, and hope that someday soon it will once again be a healthy, safe and beautiful place for all ages to enjoy. (You can see the original plans by downloading the files in the attachment section at the bottom of this page.)
Dr. Hotz and students from Wyandotte High working with the Struggler's Hill/Roots Neighborhood Association at Big Eleven Lake
In 2010 EPA's Urban Stream Monitoring Network teamed up with the Lakes of Missouri Volunteer Program to begin monitoring small lakes in KCK. To help with this initiative, Friends of the Kaw has been working with Dr. Mike Hotz and his students at Wyandotte High School to monitor Big Eleven. Here we provide the most recent data on water quality along with tips on how to interpret the results in terms of human health concerns. This work will be continued in 2012 by Dr. Hotz, Howard Huggins and Clifford Liggins of the Struggler's Hill/Roots Neighborhood Association. Watch a video documentary of the community
We thank the EPA Environmental Justice and Environmental Education programs and the MARC Stormwater Program for funding this project. And we would like to thank Collin Christopher and Judy Moody of Ochsner Hare & Hare for the plans, which are archived in the Western Historical Manuscripts Collection-Kansas City.
View Big Eleven Lake KCK in a larger map
Blooms of green algae, blue-green algae and bacteria (especially E. coli) can cause problems for fish and other aquatic life, lead to health problems for people and animals who may ingest pathogens or toxic byproducts, and reduce the natural beauty of a lake. Nutrients like Nitrogen and Phosphorous may lead to blooms. When populations of algae or bacteria bloom, the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water is reduced, especially when algal and bacterial cells die and decompose. Big Eleven Lake is a shallow urban lake with a concrete bottom, and that means it tends to have warm water and does not have aquatic plants to help remove nutrients. Both of these conditions can increase the chances for algal and bacterial blooms.
Go to the complete data set
The EPA recommend criteria for Nitrate + Nitrite in Ecoregion IX is
The EPA recommended criteria for Total Nitrogen in Ecoregion IX
The EPA established a goal for total phosphorus concentration of 0.10 mg/L to limit cultural eutrophication of flowing water.
According to KDHE: "For primary contact recreation (i.e., swimming and domestic water supply), the 12 ug/L chlorophyll a target is implemented. The 20 ug/L concentration of chlorophyll a is used for secondary contact recreation (i.e., fishing)." More information
E. coli bacteria
Primary contact recreation (swimming, boating) limits set by EPA are 298 col/100mL for Moderately used full-body contact, 406 for Lightly used full-body contact, and 506 Infrequently used full-body contact. There are currently no limits for secondary contact recreational activities such as fishing.
Microcystin is a chemical that is used to detect the presence of blue-green algae (Cyanobacteria) that have the potential for producing toxins that are harmful to humans and other animals. The World Health Organization guidelines are less than 1.0 ug/l for drinking water and less than 10.0 ug/l for recreational waters.
Channel Catfish require dissolved oxygen of at least 4 parts mg/l for routine maintenance, be- come stressed at 3 mg/l and will die at 1-2 mg/l
Water temperature affects how fish and aquatic organisms respond to dissolved oxygen, ammonia, and other water quality parameters.