Piper's Watershed Blog Page

Science blog
June 1, 2017

Temperature can affect the amount of DO in the water. In high temperatures, the amount of plant growth can increase because of the sun that is heating it up. When this happens the photosynthesis adds DO to the water. But sometimes the plant growth can increase to much. When those plants finally die and decompose, the decomposing bacteria will use up the DO, effecting the amount of DO in the water. The amount of DO can increase when the plant growth increases. This can be a good thing. Photosynthesis addeds DO to the water. But, the amount of DO can decrease too. When those plants die, the bacteria will take use up the DO. When the sun heats up the algae or another kind of plant that sits on the surface of the water, it can cause that plant to spread across the surface of the body of water. Creating a situation where the sun can’t warm up the water and upset the organisms that are living under the water. This can cause some of the warm water fish that live in that body of water to grow cold and find another place to live. The cold water fish however, will overpopulate and through of the balance.

Thermal pollution is when a change in temperature in a body of water happens that is caused by humans. Also thermal pollution connects to sewage. Scientists test temperature by measuring the temperature of a lake, river, or stream. Then the scientists move to another part of that same body of water and measure the temperature there. If the difference in temperature is large, then there is a problem, if there is not a lot of change, then the water is okay. For example, excellent water quality would be if the difference was 0-2 degrees fahrenheit.

Poor water would be 18 degrees fahrenheit. It is very important to measure the turbidity of the water. Turbidity is the measure of how clear the water is. It is important to measure the turbidity of the water because water might not be safe to drink, to wash things in, and to swim in. Turbidity is caused by materials such as clay, silt, organic and inorganic matter, and microscopic organisms that were suspended in water.

Fecal coliform is measured to determine the health of a body of water because fecal coliform is bad for a body of water. There is a simple way to test for fecal coliform in a body of water. Water that tests negative, which has no fecal coliform, is good quality. Water that tests positive, has fecal coliform, has poor quality. Fecal Coliform can end up in a river through runoff or sewage discharge. In altering temperature, turbidity, and amount of fecal coliform in water, humans have the role of creating thermal pollution. Humans cause many changes in the temperature of a body of water. As said before this is called thermal pollution. One source is warm water added by industries. Another source is fecal coliform bacteria that can enter into river through sewage discharge. Humans affect the natural balance so we need to change our ways to save the natural bodies of water.
Reflections on water testing

Our class tested different water filter solutions. Our group used contaminated water to test out our water filters on. We used water and tea to create a brownish colored water representing polluted water. I predicted that the Sand and Gravel and the screen will work best because sand and gravel are natural filters for bodies of water. A screen will take bigger chunks of waste out of the water and not the smaller pieces. After we tested our results we found out that the sand and gravel filter test worked the best. The screen test ended up only getting the bigger chunks out like in my prediction but it didn’t make the water get clearer. The paper filter work okay but there were still some issues involved. It was very interesting to find out that the Sand and Gravel worked the best because you would expect it to make the water more dirty. Overall, the water filter testing went good with the exception of the filter getting clogged with the tea particles.

Fertilizer prediction and procedure
December 16, 2016

We are studying on how phosphorus behaves around the duckweed watershed. We recently found an article which connects to what we are studying. The article is called Where phosphorus in lake comes from. The article is related to what we are studying because in the article, it said that an Environmental Protection Agency has “estimated that forest lands account for about 16 percent of the phosphorus going into Lake Champlain for the entire Vermont portion of the lake.” This could affect Lake Champlain. This could affect Lake Champlain because 16 percent of phosphorus is too much phosphorus. It will affect Lake Champlain if there is too much phosphorus because phosphorus is helpful until it gets to a certain point where the phosphorus causes problems.

The question we are trying to answer is how does fertilizer concentration affect the growth of duckweed. I predicted when the duckweed is affected by the fertilizer concentration, it will make the duckweed grow unhealthy because duckweed is a plant that grows in the water and might react differently compared to plants that grow on land like a flower. This was our procedure:

1. equally poured 100 milliliters of water (distilled) into four testing tubes for each person in the group.
2. add about 4 of the fronds from the duckweed to each of the four test tubes, (because we had trouble getting the fronds in the test tubes, we used a toothpick to pull down the fronds into the test tube.

3. add .5% of liquid fertilizer concentration into the testing tubes which is about 1 to 2 drops

4.put all the test tubes under a light because the light represented the sun.

Testing for Oxygen

Our class and Ms. Pierpont's class took samples from Cedar lake, (Monkton pond) and guppy tank in our classroom, and did an investigation to test for dissolved oxygen.We added chemicals to the samples to find out how much oxygen is in Cedar lake. To find out exactly how much oxygen is in the samples,we needed to add some chemicals that could burn someone if you touch it. The first chemicals that we added were called manganous sulfate and iodide-azide which created flocculate or floc and made the water turn orange. The second chemicals that we added was called sulfamic acid which dissolves the floc and made the water turn a darker color orange. I noticed that there was chucks of something floating in the sample The last thing that we added was called sodium thisulfate drops which made the water clear again. We found out that the two samples,(one from the pond and one from the guppy tank) are not healthy. Only a few species of creatures can live in Cedar lake because it does not have a lot of oxygen.


Over the weekend, we were assigned to find ways on how water and land interact and finding sources of pollution. I saw something that was similar to a gully. "A gully is a land form created by running water eroding sharply into soil." Because it has been raining for two days, there was a stream at the bottom. I also saw a swamp forest. "A swamp forest is a forest which is inundated with freshwater, either permanently or seasonally. When we were walking in a field, we walked by some very tall grass. The reason it was tall was because when it would rain, the tall grass would act as a drainage area and would cause the grass to grow very tall. I also saw some rocks that were covered in moss. That told me that it had lots of moss on them in that particular section because moss is created when there is a lot of water which tells me that there must have been water that was traveling and was where the rocks were. A pollution source that I saw over the weekend was the forest swamp we saw, I had noticed that the swamp forest looked like it was not very taken care of. I wondered if the forest swamp had invasive plants like milfoil and I figured it probably did, (see picture below). Over the weekend, I saw a gully, a forest swamp, very mossy rocks, and very tall grass.

A ravine, where water flows from high to low 
Mossy rocks are a sign of lots of moisture

The forest swamp

How does land and water interact?

In science, one question we would like to answer is how does land and water interact. To answer that question, we talked about residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural. We have looked at pictures that show people in a residential and commercial setting. Our class found ways that the human uses could create pollution. For example, one human use that could create pollution in someone washing their car using soap. This could create pollution because soon when the soap runs of the sides, it will find its way down the sewer drain and could end up in a river and affect the water quality. Another example that was in the pictures we looked at was someone pouring a liquid down the sewer drain and could lead to a body of water and also will affect the water quality.

#Piper #Pollution #Water Quality

1 comment:

  1. Interesting, Piper. I'm glad I haven't washed our car in the driveway very often!