Maia's Watershed Blog Page

Experiment Procedure 
12-9-16

Our class set up our experiment, using measurements of distilled water, fertilizer and duckweed. Here are the steps:

Have four, 28 milliliter beakers.

Add 20 ml. of distilled water into each test tube.

Add four duckweed plants into each 28 ml. test tube.

Count the fronds on each duckweed plant and record

Add .28 ml. of liquid fertilizer to each 28 ml. test tube.

Phosphorus & 12-6-16
Duckweed Investigation

We are going to do an experiment to see how fertilizer, with a high amount of phosphorus, will affect aquatic plants. Mostly focused on duckweed specifically. Our class will have a duckweed plant and see what different concentrations of fertilizer will to it. Will higher amounts make the aquatic plant grow faster or slower?

In a recent article from the Addison Independent it states that in the Lake Champlain watershed, sixteen percent of phosphorus comes from forest lands. Also in the Otter Creek watershed, about 1 percent more phosphorus comes from forest lands. The AI also says that Agriculture is the largest contributor of phosphorus in the Otter Creek watershed, at forty-nine percent. Other sources of phosphorus consist of stream erosion, parking lots, large athletic fields, and wastewater treatment facilities.

In the AI it states that the “Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Implementation plan requires a 5 percent reduction in phosphorus from forest lands.” Otter Creek has more phosphorus than it should. That proves that phosphorus has bad effects on water too, if reduction is needed. A little phosphorus won't do harm, but if a lot is added, damage can happen to water. Also on the USGS website it says that when too much phosphorus is in water, it can speed up eutrophication. Eutrophication is the reduction of distilled oxygen in large bodies of water. When eutrophication occurs, aquatic life can be harmed. With small amounts of distilled oxygen, only specific organisms can live.

With all of this information, I predict that with a high concentration of phosphorus, the duckweed plant will not grow quickly or as big. The phosphorus in the fertilizer will pollute the water and polluted water will affect the duckweed.

Murphee, G. (2016, November 7). Where phosphorus in lake comes from. Addison Independent. p.23.

U.S. Geological Survey (02-Dec-2016). Phosphorus and Water. Retrived from http://water.usgs.gov/edu/phosphorus.html
Last week we did an experiment to find the oxygen levels in Cedar Lake and in the aquarium in our classroom. We tested the oxygen levels using chemistry to find reactions. We did a dissolved oxygen test. We had two samples; sample A was the pond and sample B was the guppy tank. Before we did the tests I predicted that the pond water would have an unhealthy amount of oxygen, too little. At first the clarity of both were very equal, the comparisons were hard to identify, but the oxygen levels were different. With sample A we first added iodide-azide and the water got quite a bit of flock and cloudiness. The water was still clearer than I had thought it would be though. When the manganous sulfate was added to A, the water turned to a orange yellow color. It got very chunky and really cloudy. After the manganous sulfate had settled for a little bit, the water had a syrup look, it seemed thick and blurry. When the sulfamic acid was added, the water started to turn brown and a lot darker. The flock had cleared and the water was dark but transparent. Then the water got lighter and some more flock when condensed. Finally, we added Sodium-thisulfate to the first sample, after ten drops the water began to clear. After 16 the water was back to original and even clearer. For sample B all steps were repeated the same. The outcome was very similar, but sample B had lighter colors throughout. At the end we figured out that the pond water had 3 mg/l and the tank had 2 mg/l. Cedar lake had more but not even close to healthy enough for drinking. The oxygen levels in both can only support about two types of fish. So overall both settings are not as healthy as they should be.

10/24/16

For a few days, I watched around me and was very aware of my surroundings. I spent some time observing land and water interactions in my community. I took what I already knew to use as a guideline of what to look for. I saw interactions, point and nonpoint source pollutions and more. My prior knowledge and what I have learned this year guided my search; I found some pretty interesting stuff about my effects and my communities effects on the surrounding areas.

As I was driving into a small, but busy city, during a downpour, I noticed a gas station. I saw a puddle of gas filled water pooling on the pavement. I wondered why. As I got closer, I saw garbage clogging the drain. This in my mind has good and bad effects. I can assume that trash had already gone down the drain, and lead into bodies of water. That can and probably will pollute the water. The clogged drain had benefits too though. With nowhere to go, the polluted water in the puddle has no exit. That means that the water won’t reach a body of water, as quickly as if it were through the drain. The water could potentially take a lot of time to reach the destination, there for providing time that the water needs to get filtered or stopped.

Something else I noticed was snow and rain’s effects. The just fallen snow was thin but still thick enough to act as a blanket. I learned that snow insulates plants and seeds from the colder air outside of the snow. The snow is a good land and water interaction for most things. With rain I noticed that it wasn’t so helpful to the environment. I saw my dirt road eroding from the wetness. The heavy rain chipped away the dirt and eroded the top layer. I also noticed people keeping their engines on for long periods of time, just to wait out the rain. The cars, when running, pollute the air in very harmful ways.

I observed some point source pollution and nonpoint source pollution. Point source means that you can identify the singular cause of pollution. For example, if you saw someone dropping a piece of trash, you could point to the source of littering. Nonpoint source is the opposite. If you saw pieces of trash on the ground, you couldn’t say how they ended up there. You can infer, but you can’t point to the source. I realized some point source pollutions my family and I make and many other families. While our wood stove was going, smoke emerged from the chimney and polluted the air. Also I saw trucks reapplying dirt to the road when it was eroded. Loose dirt gets into water easier than if compacted. So after the rain, dirt was in the water, and nearby bodies of water get polluted again.

This is what I learned while observing land and water interactions in my community.

#LandandWaterInteractions #Individual #BlogPost #Observations #Maia
10/14/16

Learned This Year
[Module One]

There are three parts to our big question; How does water quality affect the ecology of a community? The first section that we have been investigating; How do land and water interact in a community?

We did multiple experiments and models to understand this question. For example, during our elevation models we discovered that water pools at the lowest elevations. If we know that, we can then piece together that the location of the pooling and where the water flows to, definitely can impact the health and cleanliness of the surrounding land and water itself.

Also the stream table model gave us some clues, (or should I say answers,) to our sub unit inquiry. Seeing how in our worst case scenario the water carried loose dirt, and oils polluted the groundwater. I can assume that the runoff would have been polluted as well. If I am right than two big sources to a body of water are unhealthy. So I can conclude that water moves materials and deposits them at pooling areas.

Something I have been wondering is how can we change the modern world to stop pollution? Electric cars have been produced same as filters for machines, but water is still paying for it. From a tiny brook to the Pacific, cleanliness is still a problem. We have learned that many people cause them. I learned that factories collect water from bodies of water and then release when chemical filled. The water then flows to the lowest or a lower elevation and pools. When the chemicals, oils and other harming liquids or substances have time to sit still, they clump and affect the water more than if it were fast moving. All this information came from the stream tables and science binders, along with class discussions and prior knowledge.

That is what we have learned so far this year, and I may keep investigating this outside of the unit, to find some solutions to pollution.

#Individual Blog #Learned this year #Investigations #Maia #Solutions to Pollutions

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