A CIESE Collaborative Project

Fall 2003 Final Reports



Allentown High School Jedlicka Middle School
Sanford High School Denby Tech and Preparatory High School
ROC Charter High School Viborg Agriscience Class

Montessori School of Maui

Holy Nativity Episcopal School

Jeppe High School for Girls  


What was something new that you learned?
Our newest member learned the components of testing water. We also learned that water conditions do not change rapidly. We noticed that the Norfolk International Airport did not affect the conditions of the waters in Lake Whitehurst. Although, we did notice that the phosphate levels and nitrate-nitrogen
levels were high, and we believe that is due to runoff from fertilizers from Botanical Gardens.

What conclusions did you reach?

Date of Sampling: 10/24/03
Time of Sampling: 2:00pm
Place of Sample: Botanical Gardens/Lake Whitehurst
Water Appearance: Cloudy Greenish Grey
Weather: Cold, Slightly Breezy, Clear Skies
Organisms: Tadpoles, Pine Trees, Canadian Geese, Fish (Bass), lily pads
Conditions around the edges of the water: No trash, grassy, lily pads close to waters edge, a lot of debris due to Hurricane Isabel.


We took samples from 3 piers located on Snake Island.

Pier #1
Temperature: 59 degrees
Nitrate-Nitrogen: 4.4 ppm
pH: 7 neutral
Phosphate: .1 ppm
Dissolved Oxygen: 10 ppm

Pier #2
Temperature: 59 degrees
Nitrate-Nitrogen: 4.4 ppm
pH: 7 neutral
Phosphate: .1 ppm
Dissolved Oxygen: 10 ppm

Pier #3
Temperature: 59 degrees
Nitrate-Nitrogen: 4.4 ppm
pH: 7 - neutral
Phosphate: .1 ppm
Dissolved Oxygen: 10 ppm

What would you do differently next time?
Our group would make sure to take our digital camera along to document the appearance of the water.



Location: Tabacarie Lake
latitudine: 44.12.0N
longitude: 028.38.0E
color: green
there was no polution, but a lot of algae
Date of collection: october 13 2003
Time of collection: sunny
Rain within last 48: None
Stream flow: low
Lack/pond level: don't know
Local land use:
forested land:/ forested area with Roads

air temperature - 12 degrees C
water temperature - 10 degrees C
pH - 8.20
disolved oxygen - 5.9 mg/l
NO2 - 0.34
NO3 - 0.9
PO4 - 2.1

Equipment Used
Multi LAb P5 Meter WTW


Allentown High School

Allentown, NJ

9-12, RCR Physical Science

We discovered that the quality of the water at Allentown Lake was good despite the sewage treatment plant located at the head of Crosswicks Creek. Our tests all indicated good water quality. For instance, the pH was 6.5, which can sustain aquatic life. The nitrate reading of 0.5 ppm would indicate that there
wasnt any overgrowth of plants. Having a phosphate level of 0.0 ppm showed us that there probably were low or no wastes and run-offs affecting the water.

The DO was 7 ppm which is beneficial for the lakes organisms.
We had fun working in groups, analyzing our graphs and checking for life under the microscope. It was a first-time experience for us to conduct water sample tests. We thought it might be good to repeat those experiments later in the year for comparison.

We want to thank you for giving us the opportunity to participate in the Global Water Sample Project.


Jedlicka Middle School

 We sampled three different streams to see if the streams were healthy. The first stream we went to was Kingsbury Creek in Proctor, MN. Our conclusion is that Kingsbury creek is mostly healthy, but is declining in health. Kingsbury Creek has a good water temperature, pH and biological oxygen demand. The
negative aspects of the stream were that you could smell oil in the water and there were a lot of red midges found in the stream. The nitrates were also high.

Keene Creek in Duluth, MN is healthy. There was a lot of diversity in the invertebrates and we found lots of pollution intolerant invertebrates. The sediment was mainly sand and pebbles, which is good because invertebrates can hide in the cracks of the pebbles. The chemical tests were mainly good.

The St. Louis River is fairly healthy. The temperature, pH, biological oxygen demand and phosphate are all at healthy levels. The dissolved oxygen, nitrate, carbon dioxide, sediment and current speed are unhealthy parts of the stream.

If we had to do the stream study over again, we would find more experiments to do and test the stream even more exact. We would be more careful with our measurements. We need to find a nitrate and phosphate test kit that measures these chemicals more accurately. Some students would like to do the tests in the summer so the water would be warmer and the invertebrates more plentiful.

The students wrote scientific papers that included data tables, graphs, and conclusions for all of the tests. Please contact us if you would like more specific information.


Sanford High School

 Got our test kits, just in time! Temp: Air 0 C Water 7.2 C ph: strip 5 Colorimetric 6.7 Turbidity: between 0-5jtu Phosphate less than 1ppm Nitrate unknown Dissolved oxygen 8.9ppm Macroinvertebrates: 2 coiled shell snails, 1 leech, 3 dragonfly larvae, 5 amphipods, midge larvae [mod]


Denby Tech and Preparatory High School

 85 percent of the world's human population lives on or near a river. For these reasons, the study of rivers, makes a good topic to focus on for the study of a wide range of environmental issues. Thus explains the condition of the Detroit River in its urban setting. Rivers also contain a historical perspective on
cultures and society, forming an idea basis for learning about cultural diversity and engaging in global dialogue through the web.

We sampled water from the Detroit River at Belle Isle in Detroit, MI. The weather conditions were cold and windy, at the banks of the South Fishing Pier. The temperature of the water was 11 degrees Celsius, ph was 7.7, Dissolved Oxygen was 11. Nitrates were 1ppm and Phosphates were .24.

These results were evaluated according to a water quality monitoring quantitative analysis of process. This process involved giving a number value for each of the parameters measured in our data set, for example if the pH was between 6.5-7.5, then the value(4) was assigned, which stood for excellent quality.
According to this system, the overall quality of the Detroit River was 2.4 which is fair quality. therefore our original hypothesis was confirmed.


ROC Charter High School

Nowhere to go but upstream?! Students at our school are worried about their local river (the Zumbro) and decided to search out point sources of pollution. We suspected that the city sewage treatment plant might be one of these sources. We surveyed 14 miles of river starting just above the plant. (please see
attached data table)

Not only did we see effects from the plant in the first mile, but throughout the 14 miles. Over the entire distance we sampled we observed an overabundance of algae covering the rivers banks. We may not have conclusive evidence that what weve found is harming fish and invertebrates, but we suspect that the
high levels of nitrates, CO2 and elevated temperatures may be causing stress to the animal life.

We were able to confirm our hypothesis that there is at least one point source of pollution on the Zumbro River in the 14 mile stretch that we surveyed. More importantly we discovered that the effects of the plant are felt far downstream!

No matter how perfect you always want to be some improvements that could be made in the experiment include the following. We could have marked the spots where the tests were run one day and then run them at the same spots again to see if the numbers would remain consistent. Another improvement that
could help would be to compare the effect of this sewage treatment plant to sewage treatment plants of other areas and see if they were having the same effects. We also believe that there could be errors in the test results because of some lack of understanding about how to get accurate answers every time.
One way that this could have been improved before carrying out the experiment would have been to allow more time with practicing all of the tests.
Zumbro Date Temp pH DO N Phos CO2
37th Oct 6 10 C 7.5 9.4 3 1 7
STP Oct 6 19 C ? 8.2 .40 5 60
STP + 0.5 Oct 6 15 C 6.5 8.3 18 2 35
STP + 3.0 Oct 6 15C 7.5 12.4 14 2 10
STP + 6.0 Oct 9 15 C 7.5 9 10 1.5 15
STP + 9.0 Oct 9 16 C 8 11 8 1 13
STP + 10.0 Oct 9 14 C 8 10 8 1 7
STP + 12.0 Oct 7 14 C 8 12 5 <1 ?
STP + 14.0 Oct 7 13 C 8.5 11.3 5 <1 ?



Viborg Agriscience Class

 Swan lake is a natural lake supplied with runoff from agricultural lands. We expected to find nitrates and phosphates due to the sediments that accumulate from the runoff entering the lake. When we conducted our test we found the following results:

pH = 7.0
Temperature = 6 degrees C.
Dissolved Oxygen = 6 ppm
With our low water temperatures, we found no macroinvertebrates
Nitrates = 0 ppm
Phosphates = 1 ppm
Turbidity = 40 JTU

Although we wouldn't consider Swan Lake a source of potable water, we were pleasantly surprised at the general quality of water for aquatic plants and animals.


Montessori School of Maui


We learned that water can be the same in some ways like temperature and the pH level. We were surprised that even though the rivers are in different parts of the island of Maui, they have many of the same qualities. 
To conduct our tests we used a LaMotte Water Testing Kit. We followed the instructions as we performed each of the tests. Then we recorded the data.

Our conclusions are:
PH test-both of our water sources had similar PH levels
Nitrates-both our water sources had exactly the same nitrate levels.
Dissolved oxygen, was 6ppm and 5ppm.
Phosphates-we were unable to test for this.

Next time we participate, we will do a number of things differently. Take pictures of the actual sampling. Post them early in the study. Allow ourselves more time to do each test. Do more research about prior tests, and use the reference materials more than we did this time.


Holy Nativity Episcopal School

The new thing we learned is how to do water testing in general. We also learned that there was no hardness in Martin Lake. The water was not suitable for most life due to all the surrounding pollutants such as the paper mill and the garbage cluttered all throughout the lake.

We interpreted the results by putting them in a graph according to group numbers and then we combined each result into one total according to test type.  We also conversed about the results and what type of water was in Martin Lake .

D.O. (ppm) CO(ppm) Hardness Test  Alkalinity Test
0.9 0.2 0 120
1.7 0.3 0 90
0.9 0.1 0 unable to detect
0.9 0.2 0 unable to detect
0.9 0.2 0 unable to detect
0.9 0.3 0 unable to detect
1.2 0.1 0 240
2.4 0.3 0 105
1.4 0.5 0 120
1.8 0.1 0 105
0.9 0.1 0 180
0.8 0.2 0 140
mean: 1.2 mean: 0.2083 mean: 0 mean: 91.6
median: 0.9 median: 0.2 median: 0 median: 105
mode: 0.9 mode: 0.1 mode: 0 mode:120/105

Please note we were unable to detect results for the nitrogen test. However we performed hardness and alkalinity tests.


Jeppe High School for Girls

Click on this link, Jeppe High School for Girls, to download the report.