Cheryl Kaye 2nd Grade Science Fair Project by nuhman10

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First Name: _Cheryl Kaye____________            Last Initial: M.___ Grade: _2nd__

Project Title:
How Pollution Makes Creeks, Ponds and Streams Unhealthy for Fish

State the Problem:
How does pollution make water an unhealthy habitat for animals that live in the water?

Hypothesis:
General Hypothesis: Places where there are higher pollution factors will have the unhealthiest
water.
For my study, I believe that Turkey Creek Nature Preserve will have the healthiest water for the
animals that live there. It is well maintained with low pollution. I believe that Village Creek,
the small creek in Fairfield, the pond at the golf course, and the small stream at Oak Station all
will be unhealthy for the animals that live there. Village Creek is close to the airport and should
be polluted with oil. The small creek in Fairfield should be polluted because of the steel plant
located next to it. The golf course should be polluted because of the fertilizers used on the
grass. The small stream at Oak Station is blocked by concrete and cannot flow. This should
make it have a low oxygen level because it cannot pick up as much oxygen from the air as it
flows.

Materials:
1. 1 Ward’s Snap Test Instant Water Quality Dissolved Oxygen Test Kit
2. 1 Ward’s Snap Test Instant Water Quality Phosphate Test Kit
3. 5 Water Quality: Do It Yourself Test Kit from The Home Depot
4. Water Samples from Creeks, Ponds, and Streams

Procedure:
I picked five places to test the water for things that can make the water unhealthy for animals.
The five places were Turkey Creek Nature Preserve, Village Creek close to the Birmingham
Airport, a small creek next to a steel plant in the city of Fairfield, a pond at a golf course, and a
small stream in Oak Station that had concrete keeping it from flowing.
I wanted to find a way to test the quality of the water. I called a teacher from my mom and
dad’s college, Birmingham-Southern College. Dr. Shew said that I should test the Dissolved
Oxygen and let me borrow a “Ward’s Snap Test Instant Water Quality Test Kit” to test the
Dissolved Oxygen and Phosphate in the water.
I tested Dissolved Oxygen by getting 25 milliliters of water and using a small tube filled with
indigo carmine, I broke the tip and mixed them together. After two minutes, I compared the
color to the samples provided in the kit.
I tested the Phosphate by getting 25 milliliters of water and adding 2 drops of an activator
solution, then I used a small tube filled with stannous chloride. I broke the tip to mix them
together. After two minutes, I compared the color to the samples provided in the kit.
I went to The Home Depot and bought a “Water Quality: Do It Yourself Test Kits” to test ph,
Alkalinity, Chlorine, Hardness, Iron, Copper, Nitrates, and Nitrites. To test for each of these, I
got 25 milliliters of water, dipped the individual test strip into the water, swirled it around for a
few seconds, and then laid the strip flat to dry. After about 5 seconds, I compared the color of
the strip to the chart that was given in the kit.
I recorded all of my results and repeated every test at each place.




Data and Results:
At all five places, the tests showed no traces of Chlorine, Iron, Copper, Nitrite, or Phosphate.
The creek at Turkey Creek Nature Preserve had a high Dissolved Oxygen level of 10, a high
alkalinity of 240, a healthy pH of 8.5, no Nitrates, and tested hard at 120.
The creek at Village Creek had a high Dissolved Oxygen level of 11, a high alkalinity of 240, a
healthy pH of 8.5, no Nitrates, and tested slightly hard at 50.
The creek in Fairfield by the steel plant had a borderline Dissolved Oxygen level of 8, a high
alkalinity of 240, a healthy pH of 7.5, a Nitrate level of 6, and tested slightly hard at 50.
The pond at the golf course had a low Dissolved Oxygen level of 6, an alkalinity level of 0, an
unhealthy pH of 2.0, no Nitrates, and tested slightly soft at 20.
The small stream at Oak Station had a low Dissolved Oxygen level of 6, an alkalinity level of 0,
an unhealthy pH of 5.0, no Nitrates, and tested soft at 0.
I have 6 graphs shown on my display board with all the results, but I could not get all 6 graphs
on this because the file size was too big.




Conclusion:
The tests showed that my hypothesis that the creek at Turkey Creek Nature Preserve was correct.
Turkey Creek was the only creek that had high alkalinity(240) which helped it to keep a healthy
pH(8.5). It also had a high Dissolved Oxygen level(10) which is very important for the fish to
live. The test strip showed no nitrates and had a hardness of 120, which helps the fish to take in
just the right amount of water.
My hypotheses that the small creek by the steel plant in Fairfield, the pond at the golf course, and
the small stream at Oak Station were all unhealthy were correct. Even though the small creek
next to the steel plant had a high alkalinity(240) giving it a healthy pH(7.5), it was on the border
of having a Dissolved Oxygen level(8) that was too low, and the hardness level(50) was only
slightly hard. The test also showed traces of Nitrates(6), maybe from fertilizer or waste. The
pond at the golf course and the small stream at Oak Station were unhealthy in every test. It had
no alkalinity, making the pH too low(Golf Course: 2.0, Oak Station: 5.0). The Dissolved
Oxygen(Both: 6) and the Hardness(Golf Course: 20,Oak Station: 0) levels were too low for fish
to live there.
I was surprised about the results for Village Creek. My hypothesis for Village Creek was
wrong. I thought since it was so close to the airport it would be very unhealthy. It actually was
almost as healthy as Turkey Creek! It had a high alkalinity(240), giving it a healthy pH of (8.5).
It also had a wonderful Dissolved Oxygen level of 11! It was only slightly hard on the Hardness
levels(50) which is borderline. I believe that my hypothesis was wrong because of clean up
efforts to help lower pollution of Village Creek because it flows into the Black Warrior River.
I believe it is our job to keep the Earth healthy and clean for all the animals both on land and in
the water. My study shows that there are still things that need to get better in our environment
to make the Earth’s water healthier.
For my next study, I would like to test the water again when it has not rained in several days to
see if it makes the pollution levels higher. In my study, it rained two days before I took the
water samples. I think this may have made the water cleaner.
I would like to give a special thanks to Dr. Wayne Shew at Birmingham-Southern College for
letting me use the Dissolved Oxygen and Phosphate Test Kits and for helping me to know how
to test the water. I could not have done this experiment without his help.

								
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