A CIESE Collaborative Project

Fall 1998 Student Final Reports

All classes participating in this project were asked to submit a final report to the project Discussion Area. In this report, students shared what learned from doing the project. Read on to see the results of the students' hard work!

Final Report from St. Joseph School - Crescent Springs, Kentucky, USA
Final Report from Sacred Heart School - Hallettsville, Texas, USA
Final Report from Baba Tonka Secondary School of Mathematics - Rousse, Bulgaria
Final Report from Fremont Intermediate School - Oxnard, California, USA

Final Report from St. Joseph School - Crescent Springs, Kentucky, USA

The water tested was from Franzen Lake, Villa Hills, Kentucky. This lake, which covers about one acre, is near a playground and sports complex, and is close to a number of homes. There is no debris in the lake and there is no obvious source of pollution. Many local residents fish in this lake, but there is no swimming allowed in the lake.

The dissolved oxygen level was 8ppm and the temperature was 14 degrees Celsius. This means that the dissolved oxygen saturation was 78%. This result indicates that the lake is capable of supporting a diversity of aquatic organisms.

The pH results were 8pH. Normal water has a pH of 7 and most natural water has a ph of 6.5 to 8.2. Therefore, Franzen Lake has a bit less acid than normal water, but it is still in the normal range. It is important to remember, however, that if the pH level changes even slightly, which could happen because of all of the new homes in the area, the aquatic organisms could die very easily.

The nitrate results were 5ppm. This means that the water had nitrates to supply plants and animals with nutrients, but at the same time it did not contain an excessive level of nitrates so that the level of oxygen would decrease. Apparently, even though there are homes near the lake there is not significant runoff of fertilizers into the lake.

The phosphate result was 1ppm. This level could be higher to aid plants and animals in their growth. I think this level will increase over the next few years due to additional people in the area and because more animals will inhabit the forest area near the lake since other wooded areas are being developed for houses. Also there might be more industrial pollution around the lake. If the level of phosphates rises too high it could cause a loss of oxygen in the water which would harm the fish and other organisms in the lake.

While the other tests indicate that the water is generally of good quality, the lake water did show the presence of coliform bacteria. This is an obvious concern. When water tests positive for coliform bacteria, this is an indication of sewage or fecal contamination.

Overall, the test of the water from Franzen Lake showed that water quality is about average. However, the presence of coliform bacteria is troublesome. Clearly, there has been some pollution of this lake. Since our community is becoming more and more populated, area residents must be careful to protect our community lake.

Sincerely,

Kelly Stevens
8th grade student
St. Joseph School

Final Report from Sacred Heart School - Hallettsville, Texas, USA

Result - Lavaca River Test on November.10,1998

Our trip to the river was delayed twice because our area of Texas has been getting much rain.There have been three very big rises on the river over the past month. It was feared that Hallettsville would be flooded, but the water didnt get high enough to flood the town. Many areas of Texas were not so fortunate. Many homes were damaged or destroyed by flooding in Texas and many people drowned.

We learned many things on our visit to the river. We learned how tests are conducted for pH ,dissolved oxygen, nitrates, and phosphates. We were impressed with the large number of organisms we found living in the water. We found clams, mussels,sunfish, beetles ,freshwater shrimp, dragon fly nymphs, water bugs, and several other organisms. We wished some of our nets had smaller mesh! We think we didnt catch any smaller organisms because our nets had holes in them which were to big and allowed them to escape.

The current condition of the water is good. There is an adequate amount of oxygen and the pH is at a good level. There is little trash in the river. Many of us thought that the water wouldnt look clean, but it did. We found the water to be deeper than we expected. The water didnt smell bad. This good condition of the river may be due to all the fresh water it has been getting lately.

In conclusion, we would rate the water, in our river, the Lavaca, as having very good water quality. We enjoyed our study of the river very much!

Seventh Grade Science Class

Final Report from Baba Tonka Secondary School of Mathematics - Rousse, Bulgaria

Hello, Water Falks,

For the second year, the students at Baba Tonka Secondary School of Mathematics in Rousse, Bulgaria have teamed up with the world to test fresh water. I would like to mention you that the student from XI class under my guidance took and tested water samples from the Danube's riverside and from the lake situated in the woodpark Lipnik, eas of our town Rousse. The results did not surprise us at all, having in mind the theoritical knowledge about the two reservoirs.

River Danube:

1. Contents of oxygen in the water - 8 ppm(mg/l)
2. Contents of phosphates in the water - 1 ppm(mg/l)
3. Contents of nitrates in the water - 0,8 ppm(mg/l)
4. pH in the water - 7,7 pH
5. Temperature in the water +8 deg

Lake Lipnik:

1. Contents of oxygen in the water - 7 ppm(mg/l)
2. Contents of phosphates in the water - 4 ppm(mg/l)
3. Contents of nitrates in the water - 0,1 ppm(mg/l)
4. pH in the water - 8,1 pH
5. Temperature in the water +12,1 deg

Note: The water samples were taken on 23 Oct 1998 and tested the same day. At the observation with stereoscope of water from both the lake and the river the following organisms were noticed. In both the river and the lake we found the following species: Amoeba proteus and Amoeba radiata.

From class Flagelatta we found the big Noctiluca miliaris wich is seen by microscope. In the lake's water we found that there are more microorganisms.

Sencerely yours,
Stel Ivanova

Final Report from Fremont Intermediate School - Oxnard, California, USA

Water Sampling Report
By Antonio

Students from Fremont Intermediate school went down to the Santa Clara estuary and also to McGrath Lake located in Oxnard, CA to do some testing on the health of the water. While down at the lake the students tested for temperature, ph, dissolved O2, dissolved CO2, nitrates, and turbidity.While testing the students found some very normal, and abnormal things about this water in the lake.

One of the main things that the students found that was very surprising was that there was no dissolved carbon dioxide in the water of this lake. After discussing with other classmates the students came to a conclusion and indicated that there may not be very many living organisms in this lake.Students did see some living organisms in the water but very small ones, none big enough to let out enough dissolved carbon dioxide for any plants  to live off of. Some of the other abnormal readings students found where a very high level of nitrates, and also a very high level turbidity of 100 JTU.

The reason students say these certain tests are abnormal is because after discussing with other classmates, and researching nitrate levels students found out that a nitrate level less than 1.0ppm is excellent, anything between 1.1-3 is considered good, anything 22ppm or above is poor.  The readings the students got for the nitrate level were about average of 52 ppm. As you can see if the students research is correct the nitrate level in the lake is very high.  Another abnormal reading was the results of the turbidity test which were also found to be very high. According to the research on turbidity anything found between 0-10 is considered normal and anything above is very bad. The students found turbidity levels at 100 JTU. If the students research is correct the turbidity level of this lake is very very high and this is not be good for any living organisms in the water.

Students think that fertilizers or any other type of chemicals used in fields near by may have run off into this lake with the rain the night before they did the testing and that could have caused the nitrate level to be so high. Students also say that the high nitrate level and pollution may be the cause of the low carbon dioxide and high turbidity levels in the lake. With all the pollution and high level of nitrates in the water it makes it hard for any big organisms or plants to live or grow there.

From the discussion with Belgium I learned that they also have a high level of nitrates in the water where they are located. I also learned that the water out there is very polluted like the water that we tested out hear and that what ever is happening to the water out there could be the same thing that is happening out hear to the water that we tested. I learned that in Belgium farmers have lots of political power, that is why they are still allowed to enlarge their livestock and the rivers are polluted with nitrates, phosphates, and a  high eutrophication rate.

While doing this test I learned that there are many things in the water that can harm us or any living things in the water. By doing these tests we can see any abnormal things wrong with the water in the lake and try to change it so we can help any living organisms  in the water.