Sampling Tests and Methods

Temperature
A thermometer was used to measure temperature. Water temperature is important because it influences the metabolic rate of aquatic organisms and the rates of chemical reactions. Heated water, from industrial discharges, runoff from urban areas during a summer storm, or removal of riparian areas, may be detrimental to aquatic life, a condition termed thermal pollution. This heated water often causes ecological imbalance, sometimes resulting in major fish kills near the discharge source. The increased temperature accelerates chemical-biological processes and decreases the ability of the water to hold dissolved oxygen. Indian Creek contains many native fish from the Ozarks and is considered a cool water fishery. The standard for temperature in a cool water fishery is not to exceed 84 degrees Fahrenheit. (04).

pH
Hach AquaChek water quality test strips for pH, number 27456-50 were used to test pH. A test for pH measures the concentration of hydrogen ions. The range is from 0 (maximum acidity) through 7 (neutral), to 14 (maximum basic reading). The pH of water can affect numbers of fish found in a body of water, and the diversity of plant and animal species. The acceptable standard pH ranges for streams are from pH 6.5 (slightly acidic) to pH 8.5 (slightly alkaline). (04).


Conductivity
An Orion model 120 conductivity meter was used to measure conductivity. Conductivity is a measure of the ability of an aqueous solution to carry an electrical current. If conductivity is too high (above 2000 mS/cm [microsiemens per centimeter] at 25 degrees Celsius), plant and animal species will die. The Environmental Protection Agency has set a standard that the overall conductance of water must be less than 1000 mS/cm. (01).

Phosphates
A Hach phosphate, ortho test kit, number 2248-01 was used to measure phosphates in the water. Phosphorus is necessary and beneficial to a water system, but excessive levels of phosphorus are detrimental. High levels of phosphorus can cause algae overgrowth, which decreases the aesthetic value of a stream and causes an unpleasant odor. Algae also deprives other aquatic plants of sunlight causing them to die, which negatively affects primary, secondary, and tertiary consumers of food. The decomposition of dead algae deprives other species of dissolved oxygen, and kills them. The standard phosphorus level is .01 mg/L. (03).

Nitrates
Hach AquaChek water quality test strips for nitrate, number 27454-25 were used to measure nitrates. Like phosphates, nitrates are necessary to a water system, but excessive levels are detrimental. Nitrates can cause accelerated eutrophication, causing dramatic increases in aquatic plant growth and changes in the types of species living in the water. This can lead to competition between species for dissolved oxygen. Excess nitrates can also be toxic to warm-blooded animals. Nitrates serve as a good indicator of the presence of a source of sewage or manure pollution. The natural level of nitrate in surface water is typically less than 1 mg/L. (02).

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Water Test Results: Indian Creek, Lanagan, Mo.

Day 1(Lanagan):
Temperature: 62 F
pH: 8
Phosphates:0.04 ppm
Nitrates: 5.00 ppm
Nitrites: 0 ppm
Conductivity:262 mS/cm


Day 2(Lanagan):
Temperature: 58 F
pH: 8
Phosphates:0.45 ppm
Nitrates: 5.00 ppm
Nitrites: 0.05 ppm
Conductivity:238 mS/cm


Day 3(Lanagan RU Park):

Temperature: 60 F
pH: 8
Phosphates: 0.05 ppm
Nitrates: 2.00 ppm
Nitrites: 0.15 ppm
Conductivity: 256 mS/cm

Day 3(Lanagan City Park):
Temperature: 60 F
pH: 8
Phosphates: 0.06 ppm
Nitrates: 2.00 ppm
Nitrites: 0.00 ppm
Conductivity: 256 mS/cm

Water Test Results: Indian Creek, Anderson, Mo

Day 2(Anderson):
Temperature: 58 F
pH: 8
Phosphates: 0.05 ppm
Nitrates: 5.00 ppm
Nitrites: 0.05 ppm
Conductivity:224 mS/cm

Day 3(Anderson):
Temperature: 60 F
pH: 7
Phosphates: 0.03 ppm
Nitrates: 5.00 ppm
Nitrites: 0.00 ppm
Conductivity: 268 mS/cm

 

AVERAGES:
Temperature: 60 F
pH: 7.83
Phosphates: 0.11 ppm
Nitrates: 4.00 ppm
Nitrites: 0.03 ppm
Conductivity: 250.67 mS/cm

 

Download Water Quality Data (.PDF)

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01. American Public Health Association: Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater. 19th edition 1995. APHA, Washington D.C.
02. Evironmental Protection Agency. “Monitoring and Assessing Water Quality – 5.7 Nitrates.” www.epa.gov/owow/monitoring/volunteer/stream/vms57.html. Retrieved on November 11, 2003.
03. Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Personal Interview with John Ford concerning water quality regulations. March 27, 2000.
04. “Bonne Femme Watershed Partnership: Sampling & Example Data Sets.” Retrieved on October 28, 2003. http://www.geog.missouri.edu/bonnefemme/sampling_and_data.html.