The Lake Guardian is a 40 ft. abeam vessel that was originally constructed as an offshore supply ship. It is a 180 ft. long and and has a depth of 14 feet, displacing 850 tons. In 1990, EPA converted it to a research vessel.
The fuel capacity is 79,000 gallons, the ballast water capacity is 76,500 gallons, and portable water capacity is 29,000 gallons. Berthing capacity is 42 passengers.
Two diesel engines, each driving its own propeller shaft, power the RV Lake Guardian. Three additional diesel engines provide electrical power. A bow thruster, powered by a diesel engine, aids in the ship's ability to move in close quarters. It also aids in station keeping; while at survey stations, the bow thruster controls the bow movements of the ship so it doesn’t drift due to winds and waves. The ship’s top speed at full power is 13 miles per hour.
There are three fixed laboratories located aboard the Lake Guardian:
- Chemistry Lab
- Microbiology Lab
- Wet Lab
Additionally, there is a portable or container laboratory mounted on an upper deck that is used for processing radioactive samples. The Lake Guardian is equipped with a wide range of sampling equipment for multimedia models:
- Water samplers with remotely closing sampling bottles
- Plankton nets
- Sediment PONAR grabs, corers
- Air high volume samplers
- Ship Specifications (PDF)(3 pp, 112 K, March 2016)
- Communications and Shipboard Computing (PDF)(3 pp, 226 K, March 2016)
- Lake Guardian Safety (PDF)(3 pp, 403 K, March 2016)
- Shipboard Organization (PDF)(6 pp, 310 K, August 2016)
- Support Equipment (PDF)(2 pp, 83 K, March 2016)
- Fire Safety Plan (PDF)(1 pg, 5 MB, March 2016)
- Laboratories Onboard the Lake Guardian (PDF)(1 pg, 104 K, March 2016)