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Water Quality Project

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Deepika Onteru

on 2 April 2015

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Transcript of Water Quality Project

1. How clean is the water in New Providence?
2. What can we do to improve the water, if it is unhealthy?
3. Is the water quality affecting the animals of New Providence?
4.Are the tributaries the source of the pollution in the Passaic River?

The quality of the water is poor and is affecting the biology of the area in a negative way.


Dissolved Oxygen- low levels of dissolved oxygen because the water is unhealthy and many of the streams sustain little life other than minnows.
Phosphate- high levels of phosphate
pH- level will be less than 7
Nitrogen- perfect amount of this nutrient in the streams
Temperature- probably be too high for some organisms.
The Water Quality of Streams in New Providence, NJ
Deepika Onteru, Brianna Vyzas, Sydney Cahill, and Katie Denike
New Providence Middle School, New Providence, NJ

Plastic containers
La Motte Water Testing Kit

Our Questions:

Visual Appearance
Dissolved Oxygen
Can't be too high or too low because it can kill organisms.
Can affect the chemistry of the water. There is less oxygen in warm water than cold water.
More vegetation, tree cover, and woody debris create habitats for wildlife and fish.
Vegetation traps pollutants before they enter the stream
Plant life next to a stream or river helps keep it cool for organisms which helps organisms such as trout survive.
DO is the oxygen available in the water for aquatic organisms to breathe.
High levels of DO means healthy waters (swamps, naturally have low levels of DO).

the amount and speed of flowing water
plants and algae that produce oxygen during the day and take it back in at night
pollution in the water
composition of the stream bottom
Stands for potential of hydrogen.
Measured to determine the concentration of hydrogen in the water.
Ranges from 0 to 14.
How chemicals dissolve in the water and whether organisms are affected are all dependant on the changes in pH.
High acidity is deadly to organisms.
The more diversity of organisms, the better the water quality.
Nitrogen and Phosphate.
When there's too many nutrients it can hurt organisms by causing plenty of algae to grow in the water.
Affects pH, water clarity and temperature, and cause water to smell and look bad.
Aspects of the streams that helped
us determine the quality of the water
Visual appearance
Dissolved Oxygen
contribute to the amount of do in the water

Sediments of the lower Passaic River are polluted with hazardous substances. It's a significant threat to people’s health and the health of wildlife that live in and along the river.

In April 2014, an expensive plan to remove lots of toxic mud from the bottom of lower eight miles of the river was announced.

One of the most polluted stretches of water in the nation.

Passaic River
Dissolved Oxygen:
critical to the survival of aquatic plants and animals
a shortage of dissolved oxygen is not only a sign of pollution, it is harmful to the aquatic species.
amount and speed of flowing water
plants and algae that produce oxygen
pollution in the water
composition of the stream bottom.

Step One:
Choosing the Streams
Step Two: Surveying the surroundings
Step Three: Taking the temperature
Step Four: Finding the pH
Step Five: Finding phosphate
Step Seven: Finding Dissolved Oxygen
Stream by Lieder Field at the High School
Stream behind Lions Park
Part of the Passaic River in Oakwood Park

Works Cited
Copeland, Blythe. “Top 5 Ways Water Gets Polluted.” Tree Hugger. N.p., 15 June 2009. Web. 14 June 2014. <http://www.treehugger.com/clean-water/top-5-ways-water-gets-polluted.html>.
“Dissolved Oxygen Testing Tips.” LaMotte. LaMotte Company, 2013. Web. 14 June 2014. <http://www.lamotte.com/images/pdf/techtips/dotestingtips.pdf>.
“How do we measure the quality of our waters?” United States Environmental Protection Agency. EPA, 6 Mar. 2012. Web. 14 June 2014. <http://water.epa.gov/learn/resources/measure.cfm>.
“Interpreting Water Analysis Test Results.” Alken Murray. Alken Murray Corporation, 25 Aug. 2006. Web. 14 June 2014. <http://www.alken-murray.com/TESTS01.htm>.
“pH in Streams.” Department of Ecology State of Washington. Access Washington, n.d. Web. 14 June 2014. <http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/plants/management/joysmanual/streamph.html>.
“Phosphorus.” Flint River Green Notebook. Flint River Watershed Coalition, Apr. 2011. Web. 14 June 2014. <http://flintriver.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/FR-GREEN-Notebook-041511-Phosphorous.pdf>.
“Surface Water Contamination.” United States Environmental Protection Agency. EPA, 9 Aug. 2011. Web. 14 June 2014. <http://www.epa.gov/superfund/students/wastsite/srfcspil.htm>.
“Water Quality Data Explained.” Kentucky River Watershed Watch. UKY, n.d. Web. 14 June 2014. <http://www.uky.edu/OtherOrgs/KRWW/Educational%20Resources/Water%20Quality%20Data%20Explained.html>.
Step six: Finding Nitrogen
SUMMARY OF EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN (materials and methods)
Step eight: Analyze, concude and publish our findings
Streams in New Providence are healthy in most aspects.
approximately normal amounts for each test.
some streams have better water quality than others though.
FLEX BOX (Question, Hypothesis, Prediction, Etc)

we have found the levels of ph to be healthy
COnfounding Variables
pH should be between 6.5 and 8 in order for it to be considered a suitable environment for plants and animals
The streams we tested had a pH of 7.5
pH scale ranges from 0 to 14.
Neutral pH = 7
pH less than 7 are acidic
Substances pH greater than 7 are basic.
It measures how acidic or basic the water is.
Nitrogen levels were in the normal range in the streams
The normal amount of Nitrogen is typically .12-2.2 N.
We found our results to be at about 1-2 N.
The streams we tested contain normal amounts of Nitrogen
in normal streams, the amount of phosphate ranges from 0.01 to 0.03 ppm.
What does each test measure?
Dissolved Oxygen:
Three of our streams are within this range but the fourth isn't.
Lieder Field had 0 mg of Phosphate. This can damage the ecosystem because the stream needs a certain amount of Phosphate in order to provide nutrients to the plants and animals.
The temperAture in each of our streams was around 21-23 degrees celsius.
The temperature should not exceed 19-22 degrees
Our results are above this range
This can affect what kind of wildlife is able to live in that stream.

Stream by Salt Brook School

The temperature can't be too high or too low because it can kill organisms. Temperature can affect the chemistry of the water. There is less oxygen in warm water than cold water.

When water is in close contact with sediments the DO increases.
Surroundings such as the amount of trees and shrubs along a stream can say a lot about water quality.
There is more habitat is created for wildlife and fish when there is vegetation.
Vegetation can trap pollutants before they enter the stream.
Plant life next to a stream or river helps keep temperatures cool for organisms.
is an essential nutrient for the plants and animals that make up the aquatic food web.
Too much phosphorus can start undesirable events in a stream including accelerated plant growth, algae blooms, low dissolved oxygen, and the death of certain fish, invertebrates, and other aquatic animals.

is not toxic to aquatic life, but is often used as an indicator of poor water quality. Too much nitrogen may result in overgrowth of algae, which can decrease the dissolved oxygen content of the water, killing fish and other aquatic species

Sewage and Fertilizer- amount of dissolved oxygen decreases. When too much DO is gone, the areas can't support life ("dead zones")
Non-Point Sources- agricultural runoff, mining waste, paved roads, etc.
Acid Rain
Oil Industry- Drilling, moving, laying pipeline, and shipping.
Accidental oil spills are a major danger.
Dependent Variable- quality of the water.

Independent Variable- aspects we tested

- Using the same process to find the water quality of every tributary that we test.
-Making sure that the outside conditions are approximately the same for every stream.
Taking an unrepresentative sample.
Believed that the water quality will be poor and dirty.
Hypothesis will lead us to test a dirty part of the stream because it is human nature to want to be right all the time.
Restrained from testing point sources and other places that seem to support our hypothesis.
Different streams have different variables that affect the quality of the water.
We will take multiple samples of each stream so that we can fully represent the stream and not just a certain part of it that is more or less clean than the rest of it.
How pollutants get into the water

The streams have a pH that is good for the plants and animals
The majority of the streams have healthy levels of phosphate.
We made note of confounding variables when testing Passaic River:
They might have affected our data, but we are not sure. So, we have to investigate more parts of the Passaic River.

Our results could have been more accurate if we had tested the Passaic River better
Testing out two or more spots alongside the river
Testing in the center of the river and on the other side
Testing in different areas of New Jersey

Streams in New Providence are healthy in most aspects.
Approximately normal amounts for each test.

The tributaries aren't the source of the Passaic River's pollution

We would have to do more tests about the Passaic River if we wanted to find the source of the pollution

The water is not hurting the animals: most of the aspects were suitable for animals to thrive in

Our hypothesis does not support our outcome
Why this is important
Highlights the areas of the streams that need to be addressed.
Lieder has no phosphate
Salt Brook and Oakwood have high temperatures.
These aspects should be improved.
Reminds the public to treat the environment with respect.
Dissolved oxygen
The dissolved oxygen levels were between 7 & 9 for our streams
Should be between 6 & 9.
Our results are within this range
Is extremely important because it affects the health of fish and if the levels are too low, it could be a sign of pollution
The Passaic River was clean, which was suprising
The Passaic River is very polluted in other areas
New Providence is not likely part of the problem
or the sample from the Passaic River wasn't able to represent the polluted part of it.
Salt Brook
Lions Park
Oakwood Park
Lieder Field
Contribute to the amount of DO in the water
Full transcript