Wednesday, December 30, 2009

World Water Monitoring Day

Today, Mikro and I braved the cold to finally get our water sample for World Water Monitoring Day. The collection period runs from September to Dec. 31st, so we just squeaked into being able to participate this year. I found out about it late, and didn't get the test kit till late October, and between field trips, the flu, the weather, and the holidays, we just never got to it. Then I realized we were about to procrastinate our way out of taking part, so today was the day. Mikro was suited up in rain boots to be able to wade in for the sample, but when we got there, he took one look at the ice along the shoreline and bailed on me, so I had to do it. Knowing how cold my hand was, I'm glad it fell to me. It took almost 20 minutes for it to stop hurting... Anyway, I managed to avoid falling into the river, or having to fish the boy out, thankfully, and we stood on the beach running our tests on the sample.

First, we determined the water temperature via thermometer strips on the collection jar, and then tested turbidity, using a Secchi disk in the bottom of our jar (all supplies were included in the kit we purchased from the project's web site, and there are ample supplies to test multiple times on multiple water sources. We'll use this again next year.), which we compared to the handy scale provided. (The photo below was taken hours later, indoors, after we warmed up. It was too cold out to do much photography at the test site.)

Next, we measured the amount of dissolved oxygen in the sample:

Finally, we tested the pH of the sample:

At home, we entered our results on the web site, which required us to describe the site, input the data, convert from Fahrenheit to Celsius, and figure out how to find latitude and longitude coordinates using Google Maps. It was a fun project, and we both learned something. Next year, however, we will collect our samples in September, rather than December! I had intended to also test at the Croton River further upstream, along the Hudson, and with tap water (our village has well water), but it was just too cold to do anything more.

Site: Croton Canoe Launch
Water Body Name Croton River
Water Body Type Wetland
Site Description near where the Croton River meets the Hudson River
Site Country United States
Site State New York
Site City Croton on Hudson
Latitude 41.185
Longitude -73.879

Number of Participants 2
Date of Monitoring 12/30/2009
Time of Monitoring 14:40
Recent Precipitation CLEAR
Surrounding Land Use INDUSTRIAL
Turbidity 40.000 JTU
Water Temperature (C) 0.220
Dissolved Oxygen 8.000 ppm
pH 7.500
Air Temperature (C) -0.830
QA Protocols Followed NO
Benthic Data NO

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