North Attleborough High School, North Attleborough, Massachusetts
Mike Betts, Wilmer Bonilla, Malcolm Brennan, Lisa Criscione, Elise D’Adamo, Allison DelVecchio, John Farroba, Ashley Haselton, Stephanie Howard, Britney Holbert, Steven Kummer, Christen Linehan, Ana Makrinikolas, Greg McKim, Alex Micale, Crystal Nelson, Ryan Norton, Joy Pigeon
The purpose of our study was to make certain that the river met the Massachusetts water quality standards of a Class A river. We are concerned that the Abbott Run remains a Class A river because it is the source of the drinking water for Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
Abbott Run is located in the western section of North Attleboro within the Blackstone River Watershed. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the west, Plainville to the north and Attleboro to the south. The watershed section in North Attleboro is approximately four square miles.
Land use is predominately single-family, residential except for the Interstate 295 right of way segment. Major transportation facilities include Interstate 295 and Route 120. The section of the river that runs through North Attleboro passes through Chemawa Golf Course, an 18-hole course, on its way to Rhode Island.
The river was studied at two different sites about a half-mile from each other on October 25-26, 2006. The first site was just off Cushman Road, downstream from the second site at Shady Pines. We went to Shady Pine because they were doing construction on Hunts Bridge were the class went to on Oct. 2005. The river passed through the golf course between the two sites.
To make sure that Abbott Run met the Massachusetts Class A water standards, the river was tested for pH, dissolved oxygen, specific conductivity, temperature, and fecal colonies. We also collected benthic macro-invertebrates at both sites. Our class kept a record of the amount of precipitation in the week preceding our study of the river, and depth, and flow was determined.
The values for nearly everything that we tested were similar at both sites and met the Class A standards. The only exception was the pH at Shady Pines, Site B. It was above the standard and we felt this was due to the cement pouring that occurred in the month before our study.
Site A and Site B had about the same number of net-spinning caddisflies. This is a significant change for site B when compared to the 2006 data. This type of caddisfly can tolerate a higher level of organic pollution. Also of note, the Family Biotic Index (FBI) values increased at both sites. Site A went from excellent to very good water quality and Site B is still in the excellent range.
Written by Steven Kummer
Environmental Science, 2007
North Attleborough High School, North Attleborough, Massachusetts (2007). Abbott Run River Study. In Watershed Access Lab Projects. Project 56.
Available at: http://vc.bridgew.edu/wal_projects/56
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