To Drink or not to Drink?

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To Drink or not to Drink?. By Lauren Morris. About me. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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To Drink or not to Drink?By Lauren Morris

My name is Lauren Morris. I am a homeschooled 5/6th grader, and this is my first year taking FLVS classes. I just finished M/J Science 1, Career Education, and Art 2-D. I am currently finishing M/J Language Arts 1 and just started Spanish. This the first opportunity I have had to participate in a school science fair.

I have done several long term science projects through 4H including Butterfly Wings, Magic of Electricity, and Marine Science. In 2010 I won a blue ribbon and a big Trophy for 2010 Best of Show Exhibit for Science and Technology for my electricity project. I also won a blue ribbon and a trophy for the 2010 4H Photo Contest, Digital Single Print, Junior Division for my nature photo Sand Dune Sunset, which also advanced to state. I also won the Seminole County Medal for Science and Technology Achievement that year. I had a lot of fun participating in the 4H Florida State Marine Ecology Competition the following year.

This year I attended Project Create with my Gifted class, where we presented our group project on the prosthetic voice, and I built an unbreakable bridge! I just got the results back and I won the Blue Award for my praying mantis board this year. Currently I am working on an entomology project.

I have loved science, math, and art since I was really little. While I enjoy chemistry, physics and geology, biology is my real favorite. Im always collecting specimens, studying new ideas, building stuff, or experimenting with something to do with science.About me

Water is the most important thing in the world! Water covers 70% of all earth, but only 1% of all water on earth is useable by humans. Water is the source of all life and is needed by every living creature and plant. Monitoring the quality of water can tell us how healthy our environment is. We all need to take responsibility to care for our local bodies of water, because there is only a limited supply for all people, animals, and plants to use. The consequences of poor water quality could not only harm wildlife, but humans as well. Florida is proud of its clean environment, but the government cannot constantly monitor all natural areas for problems. Checking these areas shows where the water, or the environment around it, might need cleaning. This is just doing our part to take care of our earth.The Importance of my Project

Question: Is our Central Florida surface water a safe habitat for animals to live in and drink?

Hypothesis: The quality of surface water in Central Florida varies depending on the habitats and human impact.

Variables: habitats where I took the samples, watersheds, weather, salinity levels, and water depth

Constants: the test kit tablets, water quantity collected


I love animals and wanted to help do something for them as part of my project. My Girl Scout troop visited a water treatment facility in Ormond Beach, and we learned all about how our public water supply was treated through Osmosis. They taught us all about the chemistry behind water testing. They even let us do some of the experiments, and I got to perform one of the tests. I wanted to learn more about this, so that is why I choose to focus on water quality. Doing further research, I found the World Water Monitoring Website and learned that nobody had tested in Florida, and I wanted to be the first. We ordered the kit and adapted their charts to include more important environmental information.Initial Research:How I Choose My ThemeWWMD Lesson Plans: WWMD Guides: Watershed Action Volunteers Pamphlet, St. Johns River Management District, 2011How You Can Protect Central Florida Waterways, Pamphlet, Seminole County Floridas Natural Choice, 2011Environmental Protection Agency website Florida Department of Environmental Protection Initial Research: Works CitedResearch Tests Turbidity is how cloudy the water sample is. All surface water contains some solid matter, which can be of different sizes. Some of the solids might be salts, detritus, animal waste, dirt, sand, leaves, sticks, micro-organisms, bacteria, amoebas, and chemicals from the surrounding environment, such as run off fertilizers, natural tannin from cypress trees, limestone from a spring, or oil from nearby roads. Human garbage can also cause increased turbidity. The small solid particles cause the water to look more turbid, or cloudy. The less turbid the water, the healthier the environment. Turbidity is a key test of water quality, because sunlight has to pass through it for the plants in the water to grow well through photosynthesis. The solids also cause the water to be warmer, because they trap and absorb heat energy. Turbid water it is often darker, too, and darker colors absorb more heat. Increased turbidity also slows the production of dissolved oxygen (DO), because the plants give off oxygen during photosynthesis.

pH is how acidic or basic the water is. The pH scale is 1 to 14. Pure water is neutral, with a pH of 7. Water that has a pH less than 7 is acidic, and greater than 7 is basic, or alkaline. Most wildlife thrives in a pH of 6.5 to 8.0. Outside that range animals might get sick, die or leave the area. Environment factors that affect pH include acid rain, waste water, runoff, groundwater minerals, mining, and trees such as Cypresses that give off tannin.

Dissolved Oxygen(DO) measures how many singular oxygen molecules are in the water, beyond the H2O. Oxygen is an important part of respiration for fish and other aquatic animals. Plants make the oxygen in the water through photosynthesis. Higher DO readings mean more species of creatures can live in it, and the water will be healthier. Low levels are bad and can weaken or kill fish and other aquatic life. Bacteria and plant decomposition can cause saturation levels to go down. This can also be caused by trash, silt, and algae blooms.

Temperature is important to water quality, too. For each site, I measured both air temperature and water temperature where the sample was collected. We needed to use Celsius because it is the scientific measure of temperature. Temperature readings are important because they effect DO, rate of photosynthesis, and the food supply for aquatic animals. Waters too hot, or too cold, can have very harmful affects on fish and other cold blood animals. Vegetation such as trees provide shade to keep ponds and steams more regulated during Floridas hot summers. Run off from hot black top roads makes a difference too. These factors all change the ecosystem.

Image Credit:

DO tablets Tes-Tab (3976)PH tablets Wide Range TesTab (6459)Color Coded Comparison ChartsSite Data/Research ChartsThermometerCollection Container Two test vials - one big, one smallTurbidity WheelMaterials

How I did itI selected several different types of habitats common in Central Florida.From each location, I used a clean collection container, rinsed it with the water at the location, and then faced it in the direction of the water flow (if present) for 30 seconds before collecting the final sample and capping the container.I then measured the depth of the water where the sample was collected.Two vials were submerged into the collection container and filled immediately. In the smaller vial, I inserted two DO tablets and sealed it tightly, making sure no air bubbles were in the vial. After the tablets dissolved, I compared the vials color against the DO color chart and recorded the results.In the large vial, I collected 10 ml of water and inserted one pH tablet. Once this tablet dissolved, I compared its color against the pH color chart and record the results.I then recorded the air temperature and the temperature of the water at the depth it was collected. For each habitat, I recorded any environmental factors which might influence the water quality.Then I had to dilute the samples with a large amount of water before it could be dumped back in the water. Lastly, each vial had to be cleaned and stored for the next use.My data was collected on paper charts which was then transferred into an MS Excel Spreadsheet. Those records are included in this PowerPoint as the following tables. I collected data using the World Water Monitoring Day Water Quality Kit equipment and also recorded additional environmental factors like land use, human water use, the source of origin, shoreline plant life, air and water temperatures, weather factors, visual clarity, macro-biologicals, water depth at the sample location, signs of erosion and natural debris.Data Collection Method

Collection LocationsLocation/FactorsHalifax RiverAtlantic OceanRenick Pk, OrmondResidential Water Holly HillLake Hadley CanalHolly HillHalifax River MarshLand usemixed useHotelshousespark/roadsmixed useHuman water useWading, fishing, small craft, large boatsKayaking, fishing, swimmingDrinking, dishwashing, bathing, laundry, etc. FishingBoating, fishing, wadingSourceAtlantic oceanAtlanticCity water plantDrainage waterHalifax RiverShoreline plantlifeYesYesNoYesYesTrees Palm treesPalm treesNoPalm, oak, sweet gumPalms, oaksShrubsSmall bushesnoneNoSmall bushesCedarGrassesRiver grassesDune grasses, sea oatsNoSt. AugustineMisc. shore grassesAir temperature26c24c26c24c27cWater temp24c22c24c26c24cWeather todaysunny windysunnySunnyPartly sunnysunnyWeather yesterdaysunnypartly sunnySunny CloudysunnyVisual checkTrash Trash, foamy, clearclearTrash, murkyTrash , murkyInsects presentyes NoNoYes yesIdentifyBees, fliesn/aN/Awater striderswater striders, bees fliesMacro-InvertebratesYes yes NoNono IdentifySnails, mussels, crabsSand fleas, shrimpn/aN/AN/AWildlifeYesyesNoYesyesIdentifyMullet, yellowtail jackcatfish, minnowbirds, fishn/aBirds, fishDucks, crows, seagulls, fishDepth of water2 feet2 feetDirectly out of tap4 inches6 inchesErosion presentNoNo N/AYesNo Describe/ causesN/AN/aN/aWater flowingN/ANatural debrisYes Yes No YesYes IdentifyRocks, shells, oystersShells, seaweedn/aSticks, logs, algaeRocks, sticks, branchespH7. % saturation9592489976Turbidity70JTU40JTU0JTU40JTU60JTUTable: Upper East Coast BasinTable: Middle St Johns WatershedLocation/FactorsQuestion Pond Spring Hammock PreserveLongwoodSoldier CreekSpring Hammock PreserveUntreated Water from a Residential Artesian WellOviedoLand useEducation Education HousesHuman water useNo NoPondSourceSpringQuestion pond springthe aquiferShoreline plant lifeyesYesYesTrees Palm, elm, tupeloTupeloOak, laurelShrubsbushessmall bushesnoneGrassesCabbage, ivy, ferns water plantsSt. AugustineAir temperature24c27c26cWater temp22c20c24cWeather todaysunnysunnysunnyWeather yesterdaypartly sunny, rainy AMpartly sunny, rainy AMpartly sunnyVisual checkTrash, clear, milkyTrash, clearclearInsects presentYes YesYes Identifywater striders, flies , spiders, butterfliesflies, water striders, dragonfliesmosquitosMacro-InvertebratesYesNoneNone Identifycrayfish/leechesN/AN/AWildlifeYesYesyesIdentifybirds /minnowsbirds/butterflies/minnowsbirdsDepth of water8 inches3 inchesN/AErosion presentyesYesnoneDescribe/ causes runoff/protected by rootsnature water run offN/ANatural debrisyesYesyes IdentifySticks, logs, leavesSticks, leavesleavespH86.5 8.5DO % Saturation928824Turbidity0JTU40JTU0JTUGraphsDO Turbidity CorrelationNo obvious DO Temperature CorrelationYou can see a correlation on the DO/turbidity chart where they follow the same pattern of ups and downs. This makes sense because increased turbidity would slow photosynthesis, because it blocks the sunlight that the plants need. The plants produce the oxygen. On the other hand, you cannot see any pattern with the pH or DO/temperature charts. The cleanest was the treated water from the water treatment plant. On the other hand the best habitat for fresh water fish would be the canal next to Lake Hadley because it had the best DO, an okay PH, and a good turbidity. It did have lots of trash, but it also had water plants growing there. All of the locations except the residential waters had trash present.The best pH readings were the ones in Holly Hill. They were the best because they were closest to neutral, which is what pure water should be. Perhaps this is because of their proximity to the ocean. Question Pond and the Oviedo artesian well had high readings because that water comes from the aquifer and passes through limestone which is a base. Those readings make sense. The really low reading came from the creek at Spring Hammock Preserve. This also makes sense because of the tannin that comes from numerous cypress trees in that area.The chart comparing DO and temperature did not have a consistent connection. The DO was lowest in the residential waters. This makes sense because these waters are compressed to get them through the pipes without using much or any energy. Also these waters do not contain plants and have minerals that reduce the creation of dissolved oxygen. After more research I realized that the time of day samples were collected would also affect the DO, because of the length of time the water would be heated up or cooled. This would need to remain more constant in future studies.Discussion17The best turbidity readings were the residential waters and Question Pond, the would have been either naturally filtered or treated at the water plant.One issue I ran into with these tests was the charts provided were not detailed enough to get an accurate reading. Since it was designed for water, the pH chart should have only ranged from 6 to 9 with more color variants in between so we could have a wider range of possible qualities. Same with the DO.This experiment is more of the first step in screening water quality. More elaborate testing is needed to determine if it is truly safe for animals and people to drink. Additional tests should be done. One key element is the presence of nitrates, which would tell how much fertilizer runoff there was from local agriculture and leaking sewage or septic. High nitrate levels cause fish to die and people to get sick. Acid rain changes pH. Ammonia can be toxic to aquatic animals but is used by plants for growth. Coliform is another test that should be performed, because it is a good indicator of contamination. Copper is another element at that is toxic to both plants and aquatic animals. Phosphate is a common pollutant in Florida, which causes algae blooms, and so this needs to be tested too. Bacteria is another test that should be done. Further testing of this kind requires much more money and highly specialized equipment. One factor which demonstrates Floridas surface water contamination was identified b...