Middleborough High School, Middleborough, Massachusetts
Drew Greene, Eric Salvador
The purpose of this study was to find out how land use affects the water quality of Fall Brook. Fall Brook runs from Tispaquin Pond to the Nemasket River, and we tested two sites for NO3 –N, Nitrate, and PO4-P, Reactive Phosphorous. Fall Brook begins at Gibbs Road, and samples of the water were taken from Wareham Street, and Old Bridge Street. Residential areas, a farm, and an active cranberry bog are some of the surroundings at the Wareham Street site. The site at Old Bridge Street runs through agricultural areas and an Ocean Spray Plant.
Our hypothesis was that the different land uses would affect the quality of the water, producing higher levels of Nitrate and Reactive Phosphorus. We expected Nitrate spikes in the areas of farm use because they contain fertilizer and animal wastes. We also expected Reactive Phosphorus to spike on Old Bridge Street, because of the waste from the Ocean Spray Plant. We compared this year’s result to the results of the testing done last year at the Wareham Street and Old Bridge Street sites.
The Nitrate levels were under detection level at both sites 100% of the time. The level of Nitrate was lower than a year ago at Old Bridge Street, but by only an average of 0.03 mg/l, while the level at Wareham Street was the same as a year ago. The Reactive Phosphorus level was slightly higher this year than last at Wareham Street, while at Old Bridge Street the level was even higher, but still not significantly.
There was a slight spike in the Reactive Phosphorus level showing the affect of the land uses around it were minimal. While they affect the level slightly, it was not enough to affect the health of the water. The Nitrate level on the other hand was very low, under detection level, showing that the surroundings did not cause harm to the water. The overall health of the water is better this year than it was last year.
Middleborough High School, Middleborough, Massachusetts (2004). How does Land Use Affect the Chemistry of the Water of Fall Brook. In Watershed Access Lab Projects. Project 17.
Available at: http://vc.bridgew.edu/wal_projects/17
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