South Africa
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How much P & N in the Water?
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Posted by Heather Secondary School, South Africa on 9 June 2015
Post related to Fresh water watch, Fresher Water
Measuring dissolved oxygen of the Bainespruit
Measuring dissolved oxygen of the Bainespruit

We are fortunate enough to have a stream bordering on our school grounds. The sad thing though is that it is neglected and over run with alien invasive plants that use lots of water and in many instances storm water drains and possibly sewerage is discharged into the stream. We set out to check the quality using 3 citizen science tools. The www.miniSASS.org which many schools already know and use to count the number and variety of macroinvertebrates in the water. The presence of certain spp indicates how good or bad the water quality is. We found our score to be quite low indicating poor quality. Then we tested the water for Nitrates and Phosphates using the www.freshwaterwatch.org kit and found that these levels were higher than the natural amount which could explain why we didnt find a great variety of spp. We also used the www.monitorwater.org kits to measure dissolved oxygen, pH and Temperature. The pH was normal but the dissolved oxygen wasnt too high either which concurrs with our N & P and miniSASS results. We then noticed that there was a storm water drain entering quite close to our test point and we suspect that sewerage enters the stream higher up but we will need to check on that. All in all the tests were revealing as on the outset the water didnt look too dirty... but these indicators told us otherwise!! 


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