Owen's Watershed Blog Page

Science blog #4: Part One, Phosphorus in lakes 

This week we are learning about phosphorus. Phosphorus is an element that is most commonly found in fertilizers because it has a high source of nourishing materials that can help plants grow. We have been learning about how phosphorus can get into lakes and how it can affect the environment. We have learned that since phosphorus is used on farms as fertilizer, it can be transported to lakes when it rains because of runoff. We are thinking that when phosphorus gets into a lake, it can have a positive effect until it hits a certain point, and then it will have a slowly gaining negative effect. The reason our class thinks this is because if there is lot of biodiversity, more and more plants will start to grow. This would cause some plants to not have enough resources and therefore cause an imbalance in the environment. Also, it has been proven that too much phosphorus in water can decrease dissolved oxygen, therefore having a negative effect on the water. We have also learned that 49% of phosphorus in lakes comes from farms and other agricultural places, so it would be reasonable that our lake, (Cedar Lake) has a lot of phosphorus considering the land around it, which is used mostly for agricultural purposes.

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


Blog post #4 Part Two, Phosphorus Procedure

Step One: Pour 11ml of water in 4 test tubes.

Step Two: Add about 1 drop (0.05ml) of liquid fertilizer (we used Miracle Grow).

Step Three: Put four duckweed plants in each test tube.

Step Four: Count the fronds of the duckweed plants.

Step Five: Write the number of fronds in the test tube on the side of each test tube.

Step Six: Put all the test tubes near a window of light source.

Owens third science blog: Can chemistry be used to find water quality?

This week, we tried to use chemistry to find the quality of water from our lake (Cedar Lake), and our fish tank, which has been looking pretty murky lately. In this blog post, I will explain what we did and the results we found.

The first thing we did was add a substance called Iodide Azide, which turned the water murky and pulpy. We waited for the Iodide Azide to settle, and when it did, the water was clear with some pulpy substance on the bottom. Next, we added Manganese Sulfate, an orangish substance that turned the water the same color, orange. Finally, we added sodium thiosulfate.

To find the water quality in this experiment, we had to add small drops of sodium thiosulfate, and counted the drops as we went. There was a formula on the back that allowed us to find the water quality using the amount of drops.

Our results were not good. Our lake scored a 3, were the average body of water in our state, VT, should have no less than 7. That means “few types of creatures can survive in this water.” we think the reason for this is because there is an invasive plant in our lake called milfoil. Since plants requireoxygen to live, we think that the millfoil is taking up so much oxygen that is unhealthy for the lake. This is what we found during the water quality tests we did this week.


This blog post is mostly about land and water interacting. I will be talking about things I saw and noted in my journal.
Land and water interact in many ways. Here are some of the ways I found:
-When it rains, water picks up material from the ground.
-When it rains, water flows from highest to lowest elevation.
-If water is poured onto the ground, It stays for a minute then slowly sinks and disappears.
-Water can look shiny or glassy if it is polluted.
-Water is slower when it is cold.
-Water that puddles forms potholes
This is what I learned when I was watching what happened to water when it rained.
It has helped me realize there is a lot more to water than meets the eye.


Owen's First Blog Post
This year in science we have been learning the science of Monkton Pond. We have learned how pollution can harm any body of water, from the smallest stream to the largest ocean. Our main question is:”How does water quality affect the ecology of a community.” We have made a project board, which shows all the evidence we have collected so far. The project board has 5 categories that all lead up to our main question.

We have learned that Leaf blowers and mowers can eventually pollute water. We are wondering what we could do to stop the pollution of our pond while still having all the necessities that are causing it.

We have also learned that there is more than one type of pollution. The two types of pollution we have learned about are point source pollution and non point source pollution. Point source pollution is the type of pollution that you can see happen. Like when someone litters by dropping a piece of trash, you can point to the cause of the pollution. Non point source pollution is the type of pollution where you don't know who did it. We have learned that dropping just one tissue can harm the environment.

We are hoping to find a solution to this problem, which continues in the modern world, and our class is brainstorming ideas everyday.

1 comment:

  1. Also, once a body of water is polluted, it is very very difficult (and expensive!) to make it clean again. Sometimes, you can never get it as clean as it was before.