Nisqually MIddle School Water Quality Report

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Presentation by: Martha Arriagia, Lauren Gaudette, Kimberly Myers, and Jayden Gilmore

Presentation by: Martha Arriagia, Lauren Gaudette, Kimberly Myers, and Jayden Gilmore

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  • Students introduce themselvesKim-introduces, thanks, tells her tribal connection-Jayden-introduces, tribal connection, Mexican, honoredLauren-ethnicity-thanks for inviting us to speak at your tribal council meeting. Martha-introduces, first generation Mexican-American, Mayan, Aztec… thanks, we look forward to sharing with you our scientific results from waterquality testing on the Nisqually river.
  • Lauren introduces and describes the site
  • Lauren continues
  • Jayden discusses the pH testExcellent results…we have lots of rain which can help
  • Jayden:
  • Marta-survival depends on oxygen in the water
  • Martha-the do was great, the cold water holds more oxygen so in the winter it was even higherAll this is good for salmon and the benthics and other living organisms.
  • Martha:
  • Kim: talks a little about the fecal coliform
  • Kim talks about having to incubate the petri dish 24 hours then countFall was really bad.Possible reasons: lots of rain right before we tested-runoff carrying dog waste, farms from upstream, failing septic systems could all be reasons.
  • Martha:
  • Kim talks about keeping everything sterile and how hard the test is…
  • Lauren
  • Lauren Right at the edge of optimal
  • martha
  • martha
  • Martha-amount of nutrients in the waterRight below optimal level
  • Jayden-discusses how the benthics are collected
  • Kim concludes ( does the group want to alternate reading solutions?)
  • Kim shows:
  • Kim asks the audience is they have any questions?


  • 1. Water QualityTestingat the NisquallyRiver(RiverbendCampground)
  • 2. Brief Watershed Overview• Riverbend Campground is setalong the banks of theNisqually River• The mouth of the NisquallyRiver meets the Puget Soundclose to our monitoring site• This area is near an estuarywhere the freshwater meetsthe Puget Sound.
  • 3. Nisqually Middle SchoolScientists Testing on theNisqually River
  • 4. Testing for pHpH levelsof 7-8areoptimal•pH is the measure of acidity or alkalinity in water•pH is measured on a scale from 0-14 with 0 being themost acidic, 7 is neutral and 14 the most basic or alkaline•Optimal PH levels are important for the survival andhealth of living organisms in the Nisqually Watershed
  • 5. WaterQualitypH7.5 - fall7.5 -winterGreat!
  • 6. Testing For Dissolved Oxygen• Dissolved Oxygen is the amount of oxygenin the water.• Salmon, water bugs, plants and all otherorganisms need lots of dissolved oxygen inthe water for survival!
  • 7. Dissolved Oxygen ResultsDissolvedOxygen atthe NisquallyRiverTrail 1 Trail 2 Trail 3 AverageFall(Oct. 2012)10 mg/L 10mg/L 10mg/L 10mg/LWinter(Feb.2012)11.4mg/L 12.4mg/L 13mg/L 12.3mg/LAcceptable levels of D.O.= 9.0 mg/l (ideal)7.0-8.0 mg/l (acceptable)
  • 8. Nisqually Middle School Students Being SmartTesting for DO
  • 9. Testing for Fecal ColiformFecal Coliform indicates the likely presenceof disease-causing bacteria.This gets into the water through animal andhuman feces.Fecal Coliform optimal levels: Less than 50FC/100mL.
  • 10. Site Date Weather andTemperatureFecal ColiformLevelRiver BendCampgroundOctober 14 2012 Clear40 Degrees160 FC/100 mLRiver BendCampgroundFebruary 212013Clear40 Degrees0 FC/100 mLFecal ColiformOptimal Level:< 50 FC/100ml
  • 11. Fecal ColiformBy Trisha and Irene VillegasSetting up the FilterSystem
  • 12. • Turbidity is the amount of sediment and silt in thewater and is measured in Jackson Turbidity Unitsor JTU’s.• High turbidity can make it hard for underwaterplants to survive, harm the gills of organisms, andeffect the ability of juvenile fish to catch prey.• Salmon avoid water with high silt amounts.Testing for Turbidity
  • 13. Fall (October) 2012Turbidity Test ResultsWinter (February) 2013Turbidity Test ResultsReplicate 1: 25 JTUs Replicate 1: 20 JTUsReplicate 2: 20 JTUs Replicate 2: 15.5 JTUsReplicate 3: 20 JTUs Replicate 3: 20 JTUsAverage: 21.5 JTUs Average: 18.33 JTUsTurbidity Results•Optimal Turbidity: Less than 20 JTUs•The lower the turbidity the better because itaffects salmon and other organisms.
  • 14. tooTesting forNitrates•This tests for nitrogen-containing compounds.•In fresh water, nitrogen can cause a decreasein oxygen levels.•The main sources of nitrates into bodies ofwater are with industrial wastewater, septictanks, animal wastes, and fertilizers.
  • 15. Nitrate Optimal levels –*Nitrate levels should be below 1 mg/L.
  • 16. Nitrate levels Results-October waterquality testingFebruary waterquality testingReplicate#1 - 1.0 mg./l Replicate #1- 1.0 mg/lReplicate #2- 1.0 mg/l Replicate #2- 1.0 mg/lReplicate #3- 2.0 mg/l Replicate #3 - 1.0 mg/lAverage: 1.3 mg/l Average: 1.0 mg/l
  • 17. BiologicalMonitoringTesting forMacroinvertebratesat Eatonville
  • 18. Benthic Species Tally on Yelm Creek vs Lacamas CreekSensitivity Species Yelm Creek(Disturbed)LaCamasCreek(undisturbed)Intolerant Mayfly 3 19Stonefly 11 9Adult Beetle 2 0MediumToleranceCaddisfly 1 11Juvenile Beetle 1 0Mosquito 0 1Midges 4 0Tolerant Snails 3 1Aquatic Worms 6 10Total Benthics 31 51Total Species 8 6
  • 19. Data Interpretation:• What can we celebrate?The pH of the Nisqually river is very good!The Dissolved Oxygen levels were great!Healthy species diversity of Benthics!• What might be causing the high amountsof Fecal Coliform, and nitrates?Left behind pet waste, farm animals, and fertilizersfrom upstream.• What could be done to improve the Water Quality?• Pet waste stations• Recycle• Regular monitoring throughout the year• Take the bus, ride a bike, or car pool• Plant Trees• Salmon tossing• Educate people