Climate Impact Study of Snow’s Brook, Bridgewater, Massachusetts
Bridgewater-Raynham Regional High School, Bridgewater, Massachusetts
Jimmy Curley, Ben D'Amarino, Chris Ludecker, Eric Mader, Marc Madonna, John Lynn
For the last three years Bridgewater-Raynham Regional High School has been conducting a water quality study on Snow’s Brook in Bridgewater Massachusetts. The focus of our study is to compare the effects of climatic conditions to the water quality of the brook.
Snow’s Brook is a primary tributary of the Taunton river. The confluence of the two rivers is near the Bridgewater/Raynham line . The brook flows toward the south and is approximately 2 miles long. The watershed in the study area covers approximately 2 ½ square miles, with about ¼ of the area being wetlands. Within the watershed there are two gravel pits, several older residential (pre 1990) areas, and some newer (post 1990) houses.
s. The watershed has a drainage area of approximately 562 square miles, which contains over 94 square miles of wetlands, and supports of a population of over 660,000 people.
We conducted our study at two off-street locations about a mile away from each other. Forest Street is the upstream location. We sampled on the north side of the street downstream of a 90o meander. Along the east side of the meander exist a small 2 to 3 meter, active floodplain. Cross Street is located ½ mile south downstream of Forest Street . Our sampling location was south of the street . After the stream flows under the culvert it ponds immediately and then rapidly flows south. As a class assignment we determined the percentages by weight of the various grain sizes found at the Cross St. location. The stream bed is made up mostly of sand and gravel because of the relatively high flow rates.
Our class sampled the brook on two dated during this school year and compared our data to that of the classes from the last two years. Each time we sampled the brook climatic conditions were drastically different.
We concluded that abnormal climatic conditions can influence the health of a stream system. Summer drought conditions may have impacted pH levels and decreased nitrates and reactive phosphate levels. Above normal precipitation may have influenced higher than average nitrate levels. Dissolved Oxygen and pH where apparently not affected by high snow levels this winter. Forest Street continues to display early morning reactive phosphate spikes. The source of these spikes remain unknown and will be the focus of next year’s study.
Bridgewater-Raynham Regional High School, Bridgewater, Massachusetts (2003). Climate Impact Study of Snow’s Brook, Bridgewater, Massachusetts. In Watershed Access Lab Projects. Project 124.
Available at: http://vc.bridgew.edu/wal_projects/124
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