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Water Quality

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Sarah Halsted

on 10 July 2015

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Transcript of Water Quality

Water Quality: Everyone lives downstream!
So be a part of TEAM CLEAN!

Everyone and Everything lives downstream!
We need to remember that whatever goes into the rivers lakes and streams will flow downstream or into the aquifer and carry pollutants to other areas!

What causes water quality to be unhealthy??
Fecal Colliform
What it is
: a bacteria found in human and animal waste

Why it's harmful
: it is NOT harmful to us BUT is present with other VERY harmful bacteria, like
, that can make us extremely sick when swallowed, or enters our body through cuts, our nose, or our ears.
So What's the Pollution Solution?
How can we make a difference here?

Coliform Bacteria
E. coli
What's the Source?
Untreated sewage
Poorly maintained septic systems
un-scooped pet waste
Farm animals with access to streams
A healthy septic system
The raw sewage is coming
up out of the ground!
Cows allowed free access to stream
What's the Solution?
We could...
What it is
: The measure of how much heat is in the water

Why it matters
: It tells many things about the health of a body of water, and many water quality factors are related to temperature --->>>
Dissolved Oxygen
What it is
: The amount of oxygen available in the water.
In areas with waves, or where water tumbles over rocks, falling water tramps oxygen and mixes it into the water

Why it matters
: Aquatic organisms use gills to breathe the oxygen dissolved in the water. As with most living organisms, they would die without oxygen in their bodies.
What causes Dissolved Oxygen to decrease?
What happens when oxygen levels fall too low?
Both excess waste and nutrients lead to EUTROPHICATION (too many nutrients)=
(NO OXYGEN) in the water!
Nitrates and Phospates--the Extra Nutrients
What they are
Phosphorus is a mineral found in nature and is a nutrient found in all living things. Tiny plants like algae use phsophorus to help them grow.
Nitrogen is an element found in nature and makes up the majority of gas in the atmosphere. When it pairs with other elements it makes compunds that are good for plant growth.
Nutrients like these, plus water, minerals and air cycle constantly through plants and animals in the environment--going back to the land, air and water through the life and death of all organisms.

Why they matter:
Too much of a good thing can be bad!
When too much nutrition is available algae grows like crazy...
Then they die and sink to the bottom where bacteria decompose it, and reproduce like crazy, then they use up all the oxygen!
What's the Source?
: It gets into the water from a number of places.
Human and animal waste flushed into waterways
Fertilizers used in excess at homes on lawns and in farm fields
Some industrial waste
Eroded soil carries phosphorus to water
Lack of abundant and diverse plant life near waterways, from grasses to shrubs and trees, for holding back soil and roots taking up the nutrients (plants LOVE them!!)

Human waste--usually from faulty septic systems, leaching into the ground water
Burning fossil fuels
Rain brings Nitrogen compounds back to the earth
What can we do???
What does it impact?
1. It affects
Dissolved Oxygen
levels in the water--the warmer water, the less oxygen it can hold--->

2. It affects
--as temperature rises, so does the rate of photosynthesis and plant growth. All that growth means there is some death of plants at the end of their cycle. Bacteria eat the dead plants and use up mass amounts of oxygen. --->
Temp UP=Plant growth UP=Plant death UP= Bacteria growth UP= O2 DOWN

3. It affects Animal Survival--Many animals can only live in a certain temperature range.
Stonefly nymphs and trout need cold water
Dragonfly nymphs and carp can live in warmer water
Leeches and catfish are the least picky but also the least desirable!
Temp Up = Clean Team Organisms DOWN
Caddisfly larvae
Stonefly Larvae
Cutthroat Trout
What are the main Sources of Thermal (heat) Pollution?
Cutting down trees at the banks (riparian zone) of rivers, streams and lakes eliminates both shade and roots. Extra sunlight reaches the water and soil erodes, which heats up faster in the water, raising the water temp.
What else??
Factories and stations that generate electricity use water to cool their machinery, and sometimes it is dumped strait into nearby waterways

Also in summer, rain
water is heated when
it falls on streets and
sidewalks, and then it
runs off right into our
rivers, lakes, and streams!
Factory thermal pollution
What can we do??
Help preserve, replant, and recover RIPARIAN ZONES!
What can you see that might impact water?
What it is:
Think of it as the opposite of clarity--it's a measure of how cloudy a body of water is, how much sediment is suspended or floating in the water
Why it matters
higher turbidity means more sediments to clog fish gills
sediment heats the water faster
sediment can smother fish eggs and young plants
too much turbidity blocks sunlight from reaching plants, so they can't photosynthesize and die
Remember these key relationships!!
When temp goes UP---> Photosynthesis goes UP--->Plants and algae bloom then die---> Bacteria thrive and Oxygen levels go DOWN---> bodies of water become ANOXIC ( NO OXYGEN!) from Eutrophication (too many nutrients) and most animal life can't survive!

What can we do to prevent increases in sediments?
Plant diverse (many different types) species of plants, from grasses to shrubs and trees at the RIPARIAN zone (the land close to the water).
Make sure that water is filtered at construction sites and silt fencing is in place where roadway water washes into nearby rivers and streams.
Protect and rebuild WETLANDS!!

What it is
: the measure of how acidic or how basic something is, if it's an ACID or a BASE. another word for base is ALKALINE. Pure water is neutral, not an acid or a base.

Why it's important
: Many aquatic organisms prefer to live in water that is neutral, and if the water pH shifts to become more acidic or more basic, many species can't survive
How is pH measured?
we use special chemical indicators and indicator paper to tell us if something is an acid or a base.

pH is measured on a scale of 0-14 where anything below 7 is an acid and anything above 7 is a base. Neutral is 7, which is the pH of pure water.
Common acids and bases compared to some water sources:
What causes pH to change??
Pollution from cars and coal-burning power plants help form ACID RAIN
Acid rain forms when chemicals in the air combine with moisture in the atmosphere during condensation
Drainage from mines can seep into streams and groundwater, making it more acidic.
Pollution from road runoff, fertilizer, industry
What can we do?
Use less fossil fuels and instead use more renewable energy sources--wind power vs. coal power
What else???
Warmer water temperatures--
warm water holds less oxygen than cold water
Higher temp=LESS OXYGEN
The presence of waste from humans and animals--
bacteria that break down the waste consume massive amounts of dissolved oxygen
More waste=more bacteria=LESS OXYGEN!
Extra Nutrients from fertilizer runoff
Feeds algae too much nutrition and they "BLOOM"
Bacteria eat the algae in HUGE numbers and use up all of the oxygen in the water, then they die, along with everything else that needs oxygen!
More fertilizer in the water=LESS OXYGEN!
Human Impact on Earth's Systems like the Watershed
Human activities in agriculture, industry and everyday life have had major effects on the land, plants, water, air, and even outer space!

But individuals and communities are doing things to help protect Earth's resources and environments.

Let's take a closer look at how we can better care for our water!
We need to remember:
When the environment changes in ways that affect
a place's physical features (erosion of land, dams, construction, damaged riparian zones),
temperature, or
availability of food/energy resources,
some organisms
survive and reproduce,
others move to new locations,
yet others actually move into the newly changed environment,
and some organisms die from the changes.
Scientists have identified and classified MANY different types of plants and animals, and there is a balnce in their relationship between each other and the environment.
Populations of plants and animals live in a variety of habitats, and changes in those habitats affect the organisms living there.
Humans, like all other organisms, obtain both living and non-living resources from their environments.
The key is keeping the BALANCE.
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