Sapanca Lake is important as a source of drinking water. In this study, we aimed to detect the bacterial quality, the frequency of bacterial antibiotic and heavy metal resistance, and bioindicator bacteria in the water samples taken from Sapanca Lake in the period between 2008 and 2010. The resistance of bacterial isolates to certain antibiotics and heavy metal salts was investigated using disc diffusion and minimum inhibitory concentration techniques. Bacterial metabolic reactions were tested using the VITEK 2 Compact 30 micro identification system for identification of cultivable bacteria. Twenty-seven bacteria species belonging to three classesGammaproteobacteria, Bacilli, Flavobacteriawere recorded for the first time in Sapanca Lake. The highest indicator bacteria were recorded as 71 +/- 3.1x10(4) CFU/100ml in the summer season. The highest bacterial resistance was recorded as 90.47% against vancomycin in a total of 84 strains. Ampicillin (88.10%) and amoxicillin-clavulanate (64.29%) followed them. The resistance varied between 10.71 and 59.52% against cefuroxime, kanamycin, aztreonam, ceftazidime, cefotaxime, and oxacillin. The highest frequency against heavy metal salts was recorded as 74.19% against NiCl2. The heavy metal resistance against Cu, Zn, Hg, and Cd detected as 52.38%, 46.42%, 33.33%, and 26.19%, respectively. The results showed that the occurrence of heavy metals and antibiotic sources in Sapanca Lake induced a tolerance in bacteria for the metal salts and antibiotic derivatives tested. The fluctuations in the indicator bacteria and the occurrence of pathogenic bacteria also showed the possibility that the coastal areas of Sapanca Lake had been exposed to contamination due to inadequate sewage treatment.