Water Quality 2008 Burroughs Wellcome Fund Project ELIZABETH CITY STATE UNIVERSITY Elyse Howdershell, Taylor Dozier, Chudney Hill, Shauntavia Sawyer PROBLEM STATEMENT TESTING FOR POLLUTION CONNECTING THE LITHOSPHERE TO POLLUTION SEWAGE & RUNOFF What are some of the effects of runoff and sewage related pollution on the We tested our water samples for: The lithosphere is the part of the earth that includes the crust and Sewage is mainly liquid fluid containing waste Pasquotank river watershed? Nitrate upper mantle. Fertilizers, chemicals, fecal matter, and pesticides can materials from households and industries. What can be done to minimize the negative effects on the water quality? Phosphate collect on the ground. They can be carried by precipitation into our Runoff is the flow of water from rain, snowmelt, and other Dissolved Oxygen water supplies through drains, ditches, and groundwater. sources over the land. It is a major component of the HYPOTHESIS pH water cycle. (PPM- parts per million) If samples from our sites show out of range levels for nitrates, phosphates, D.O., and pH, then contamination is indicated by natural or manmade CONNECTING THE ATMOSPHERE TO POLLUTION Agriculture is a pollutants. Recommendations will need to be made to mitigate these The atmosphere is the layer of gases that surrounds Earth. Polluted leading source of abnormal levels. PH SCALE water can evaporate into the atmosphere, forming acid rain. water pollution in Sampling Sites: Water with a pH value between 6.5 and 8.0 is acceptable -Dismal Swamp (DS01) -Pasquotank River (PR02) rivers and lakes HYDROSPHERE - The hydrosphere is the collection all of Earth's -ECSU (ECSU03) -ECSU (ECSU04) Our pH Results: water. The Pasquotank River is a part of the hydrosphere. -Currituck Sound (CS05) DS01-7.22 PR02-6.6 BIOSPHERE - The Biosphere is all of the life on Earth. Chemicals are ECSU03-6.6 being tossed in to our oceans and rivers by humans, biosphere ECSU04-7.21 CS05-7.84 inhabitants. REFLECTIONS We learned that the Pasquotank River is contaminated All of our samples showed a healthy level of pH. by sewage and by pollution. This was overall a good learning experience and a YELLOW SPRINGS good opportunity. INSTRUMENTATION This was a good research topic to research and every (YSI) question or answer lead to another question or answer. It was almost like a chain reaction! The YSI probe meter measures dissolved oxygen and pH. RECOMMENDATIONS • Get going on fixing outdated municipal water treatment plants DISSOLVED OXYGEN SCALE • Help localities set up programs that ensure septic All of our samples were out of healthy range for dissolved system maintenance and monitoring oxygen. This may be due to false readings on the YSI. • Fully fund beach monitoring programs ECSU03 and CS05 showed unhealthy levels. • Conserve water Dissolved Oxygen Chart • Alternate crops to reduce the need for fertilizers DS01-40.3 • Create zones between agricultural fields and any PR02-21.37 bodies of water that might be nearby. ECSU03-4.8 • Use less hazardous waste and try planting without BURROUGHS WELLCOME SAMPLING SITES 08 ECSU04-9.00 fertilizers. CS05-4.09 WHAT DO WE KNOW ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS • Low dissolved oxygen can point to pollution Dr. Botti • Exceptionally high or low pH can point to pollution Dr. Porter • Abnormal nitrate and phosphate tests can point to pollution Dr. Pringle • Runoff and sewage are a cause of pollution PHOSPHATES CONTRIBUTORS OF POOR WATER QUALITY Dr. Rossbach Ms. Noble WATER QUALITY Total phosphate levels of non-polluted waters are usually less • Sewage overflows Mrs. Stamper than 0.1mg/L or ppm. All of our samples showed high levels of • People polluting it Water quality is made up of many different parts which include: physical, Mrs. Jenkins chemical, and biological characteristics. These characteristics are phosphate which can indicate pollution. • Various aquatic activities (boating, Mrs. Fowlkes compared to a set of standards. Our Phosphate Results: water skiing, swimming, etc.) DS01-3ppm • Storm water runoff PR02-2ppm • Fertilizer runoff ECSU03-4ppm ECSU04-2ppm CS05-1ppm REFERENCES http://www.midwestadvocates.org/assets/toxics%20large.gif http://www.hakkoairpumps.com/images/dissolved_oxygen_ chart.gif http://www.epa.gov/acidrain/education/site_students/images/ phscale.gif NITRATES EFFECT OF POOR WATER QUALITY http://www.ext.colostate.edu/PUBS/crops/00517.html http://www.bestfish.com/tips/102998.html The federal standard for nitrate in drinking water is 10 mg/l Polluted water is killing aquatic life. www.wikipedia.com nitrate-N, or 50 mg/l nitrate-NO3 Sewage water is preventing the sunlight to reach the sea floor. http://www.google.com http://www.grinningplanet.com/2008/01-08/water-pollution-solutions-article.htm Excess nutrients, such as lawn fertilizers, can cause algae blooms All of our samples showed normal levels of nitrates.
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