Brush Creek

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Introduction

Brush Creek is a stream located in the state of Missouri. The stream, which is also part of the Blue River’s tributaries, flows from the county of Johnson in Kansas through the county of Jackson in Missouri. The main objective of performing the experiment on the Brush Creek is to determine the type of pollution and the presence of various notable organisms in the stream. Apparently, the purpose of performing the experiment on the Brush Creek is to determine the safety level for its usage by people. The hypothesis deduced for the experiment is based on the occurrence of an insignificant amount of pollution characterizing the site area. The outcome of the experiment will be the discovery of high levels of dissolved oxygen and the presence of living things dependent on the river.

Site Description

The location surveyed for the Brush Creek experiment was situated off Sixty Third Street in Kansas, specifically at Site Number Three. The location is in Section 15, NE?, NE?, NW?, Township 125 and Range is approximately 25 East. The floodplain of the creek is considerably residential at 100 percent. The riparian cover is characterized by trees, grasses and the bare ground. The trees comprise most of the cover at 60 percent followed by the grasses, which forms 30 percent of the riparian cover and the bare ground, which forms 10 percent of the cover. The bank conditions of the stream are mostly comprised of bedrock apart from being defined by other natural compositions such as pavement and grass. Bedrock forms 60 percent of the bank conditions, the pavement covers 30 percent and the grass covers 10 percent of the conditions.

The bed composition of the stream is comprised of bedrock, mud and gravel. The bedrock covers 40 percent of the bed. The mud comprises 30 percent whereas the gravel covers 30 percent of the waterbed. There are also signs that depict the use of the land by human beings. The signs are identified by the presence of rock walls, pavements and a pedestrian bridge. Algae comprises around 30 percent of the bottom of the stream and among the stipulated percentage, 30 percent of the sum total of the algae is close growing. The water maintains a dirty brown color and does not produce an odor.

Methods

Various methods were utilized to determine the water quality of Brush Creek. Each method had a specific objective but they were all designed to accomplish the overall purpose of the experiment. The first method to be used was the electrical conductivity test. The electrical conductivity method was carried out in the creek. The method was performed by the use of a sensor by inserting it into the Brush Creek. This is because electrical conductivity approximates the quantity of the total salts dissolved in the water or the total capacity of dissolved ions that are present in the water. Electrical conductivity is affected by the rock composition, the size of the watershed, supplementary sources of ions such as pollutants, water evaporation and the metabolism of bacteria in the hypolimnion. The main reason for performing the electrical conductivity test on the Brush Creek was to determine the support of life by the water and the emanation of conductivity for the growth of things.

The second test was the testing of the pH of the water. The testing of the pH level of water would also allow for the synchronized testing of the hardness, nitrites and nitrates of the creek. The test of the pH level determines the approximation for the concentration of hydrogen ions in the water. The pH level of water determines the ability to be dissolved in the water as well as the amount that can be used by aquatic life. Thus, the scale determines the solubility and the biological availability of chemical constituents. These chemical constituents comprise components such as nutrients and metals. Regarding aquatic life, the pH level determines the use of the nutrients such as phosphorus by aquatic species. Regarding the metals, the pH level identifies the degree of solubility hence determines the degree of toxicity in the water. The main reason for performing this test was to determine the specific pH levels that can support life and the effect of the hardness and nitrates on growth.

The third test was the Turbidity test. Turbidity refers to the degree of clarity of the water. The higher the quantity of the sum suspended solids, the greater the measure of turbidity as well as the murkier the water. The general suspended sediments include phytoplankton, sand, clay and silt, decaying vegetation, sewage and factory wastes. An instrument known as the turbidimeter is used to measure turbidity in water. The importance of measuring turbidity is attributed to the indication of sediment concentration in water. Sediments are naturally occurring in streams as well as other water masses. Excessive sedimentation is known to be the main cause for pollution of water in America. High turbidity is attributed to soil erosion, discharge of wastewater, eutrophication and dredging operations. The turbidity test is performed by filling a tube and measuring the amount of inches that are visible from the bottom. Therefore, the test indicates the level of clarity and visibility of the water hence indicating dirt and cleanliness.

The final test was the dissolved oxygen test. The dissolved oxygen test determines the concentration of oxygen in the water. Oxygen is a vital part of aquatic life. This is because like land animals, aquatic organisms such as algae and fish require oxygen in order to live. As water progresses through the breathing appartus of the orgnisms such as the gills of fish, the dissolved oxygen, which refers to the oxygen in water, is relocated from the water to the blood of the organisms. The transfer is only efficient if the water contains certain levels of concentrations. The oxygen in the water is only present whereby high levels are suitable enough to maintain aquatic life. The oxygen is important for chemical reactions in the water as well as for the organisms. The test determined the saturation of oxygen in the water hence determining if the creek supported life or not.

Results

Water Chemistry

The results arising from the performance of the water tests indicate that the site under experimentation as definitely heavily polluted. The nitrite count was found to be .90 ppm while the nitrate count was approximated at .05 ppm. The electrical conductivity of the creek water was estimated at 210. The turbidity of the creek water was estimated to be at 21 inches. The pH level of the creek was 7.8. The hardness level of the creek water was approximated at 120 ppm. The alkalinity, the sum chlorine and free chlorine levels were collectively estimated at zero ppm. On the aspect of pollution, the results generated from the water tests were not positive and hence cancelled out the formulated hypothesis.

Fecal Coli form

The results generated from the performance of the fecal coli form test suggested that an increase in the level of experimented creek water indicated an increase in the presence of fecal matter. In order to determine the presence of fecal matter, the plain creek water was to be used. The fecal matter count would have been high if the experimented creek water was not diluted.

Macro Invertebrate Count

The macro invertebrates found in the creek water were aquatic worms that were tolerant to the dynamic concentration and level of the creek water. Specifically, the test for the macro invertebrate count discovered that only one aquatic worm was discovered in the creek water sample. The results regarding the creek indicated a poor rating of the water quality based on the data sheet. The insufficient number of macro invertebrates in the creek water portrayed that the water lacked the ability to support aquatic life.

Visual Survey

There were a considerable amount of houses and homes along the creek. This suggested the possibility of human contact with the water in the creek. The location of survey consisted of a rock wall as well as a bridge. These results indicated that the human beings living around the site of the creek water tampered with it various ways.

Discussion

The results arising from the collection and retrieval of data regarding the water quality of the Brush Creek did not favor the formulated hypothesis. This is because the measurements used to mensurate the quality of the water indicated that the creek water was polluted.