Course 4997 Written Report


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Course 4997 Written Report

  1. 1. Comparison of the Nitrate Levels in Water Bodies of Puerto RicoLysander Borrero and Eduardo RiveraAbstract Nitrate is a compound that is found in fertilizers, plants, urine, feces and many othercomponents. It can be found within the bodies of water; some have a higher concentration thanothers. The bodies of water with higher concentration can cause serious diseases like blue babysyndrome and even different types of cancer. By knowing this information, we collected samplesof water from a lake and a river for a period of five days during the morning and in the evening.These samples were refrigerated and then analyzed to measure the concentration of nitrate. Ourresults showed that the lake the concentrations were lower compared to the rivers, especiallyafter a precipitation event. In conclusion the nitrates levels rose after the precipitation just likewe stated in our hypothesis. Some of the factors that could have affected our results were thestorage of samples,the location, and agricultural or rural area.Introduction since plants cannot produce nitrates, people often use fertilizers, which are mostlyThe main purpose of this investigation was composed of nitrates, to help plants measure the levels of nitrates in water Using a great amount of fertilizers near abodies. The nitrate molecule is composed of water body can eventually end up inside ofone nitrogen atom and three hydrogen it. If the fertilizers get in the water body, theatoms. Nitrates are soluble in water at level of nitrates will rise up. High levels ofstandard temperature and pressure. Also, nitrates on water can affect humans in manyplants use nitrates as building blocks for the ways. Infants who drink water with highformation of amino acids and DNA. But 1
  2. 2. Comparison of the Nitrate Levels in Water Bodies of Puerto Ricolevels of nitrate can develop an acquired Methodologyform of the blue baby syndrome, also called The samples were taken within amethemoglibinemia(Austin1999). period of five days, from April 28th troughMethemoglobinemia is a blood disorder in May 2nd, one sample on the morning andwhich the protein produced, methemoglobin, one on the evening. The samples were takenhas very little affinity with oxygen, unlike from a lake and a river, both located in thehemoglobin. The problem with this disease city of Caguas. The specific site of the lakeis that little oxygen reaches the body’s tissue was in a housing community, calledand gives the infant a blue colored skin. Hacienda San Jose (figure 1A). The riverDrinking water with high levels of nitrates from where the sample was taken is callednot only affects infants, but also adults. In “Rio Caguitas”. This river comes fromadults, nitrates can bind to N-nitroso Aguas Buenas and passes through Caguascompounds found in the gastric juices of the and goes on to other cities. The specific sitestomach. The most common cancers due to where the sample was taken was in Sanhigh levels of nitrates are stomach cancer Antonio, very close to some houses (figureand bladder cancer. 2B). The sample was taken with a cup andThrough the process of our investigation, we then it was stored in a refrigeratorexpect that the nitrate levels will rise after a until the nitrate levels were analyzed. Theprecipitation event in the lake and the river. dimethylphenol method using TNT 835Our objective is to measure the levels of (containing sulfuric acid and phosphoricnitrates in the water bodies after and acid) was performed. Later on, one milliliterextreme precipitation event. of the sample water was taken and placed into the vial. Then wetook 200 micro liters 2
  3. 3. Comparison of the Nitrate Levels in Water Bodies of Puerto Ricoof Solution A (contains isopropanol) andplaced it in the vial also so that later we Figure 2Bmixed it three timescausing an exothermicreaction. Later the samples were left forthirty minutes. After that, the vial wasextremely cleaned so the spectrophotometercould read it accurately. Then vial wasinserted in the spectrophotometer and itshowed results of the levels of nitrates in thesample. Figure 1A Results After the samples were analyzed in the spectrophotometer, the ranges of nitrate concentration were revealed. In the lake, the nitrate concentrations were from 0.079 to 0.469 mg/L, as shown in table 2A. In the river sample, the range of nitrate concentrations was from 0.211 to 0.791 mg/L, as shown on table 3B. 3
  4. 4. Comparison of the Nitrate Levels in Water Bodies of Puerto Rico Lake Sample (Table 2A) answer this question we did a table (table 4) where we show you the nitrate levels beforeDate Time Nitrate Results and after a precipitation event. According to28/abril/2012 9:00 am 0.079 mg/L28/abril/2012 4:45 pm 0.111 mg/L the USGS (United Sates Geological Survey)29/abril/2012 7:15 am 0.122 mg/L29/abril/2012 4:30 pm 0.113 mg/L an extreme precipitation event occurred on30/abril/2012 9:30 am 0.147 mg/L30/abril/2012 6:38pm 0.137 mg/L April 30th, 2012 I the afternoon (table 5).1/mayo/2012 6:47 am 0.137 mg/L1/mayo/2012 7:03 pm 0.469 mg/L The averages of both water bodies were2/mayo/2012 9:00 am 0.061 mg/L2/mayo/2012 6:48 pm 0.258 mg/L taken from April 28th in the morning and April 30th, which is considered before precipitation event. Through April 30th River Sample (Table 3B) evening and May 2nd evening, the NitrateDate Time Nitrate levels rose in the lake sample after the Results28/abril/2012 11:35 am 0.303 mg/L extreme precipitation event. Even though it28/abril/2012 5:32 pm 0.573 mg/L29/abril/2012 11:45 am 0.211 mg/L wasn’t an extreme difference, as shown in29/abril/2012 6:01 pm 0.540 mg/L30/abril/2012 6:28 am 0.628 mg/L table 6A,the nitrate levels rose in the river30/abril/2012 6:27 pm 0.791 mg/L1/mayo/2012 6:37 am 0.706 mg/L sample and you can see the difference from1/mayo/2012 7:12 pm 0.470 mg/L2/mayo/2012 8:24 am 0.600 mg/L before and after the extreme precipitation2/mayo/2012 8:21 pm 0.730 mg/L event, as shown in table 6B. Mainly you can see that in both tables the nitrate levels didThe average of the concentration of nitrates rise after the precipitation the river was higher compared to the lakesamples, as shown in table 4. However, thequestion is, did the levels of nitrate rosewhen a precipitation event occurred? To 4
  5. 5. Comparison of the Nitrate Levels in Water Bodies of Puerto RicoAverage of Nitrate Concentration (Table 4) Before and After Precipitation Event: Lake Sample (Table 6A) USGS Rain Gauge (Table 5) Before and After Precipitation Event: River Sample (table 6B) 5
  6. 6. Comparison of the Nitrate Levels in Water Bodies of Puerto RicoDiscussion levels are higher in that specific body of water.In conclusion the nitrate concentration fromthe lake sample ranged from 0.079 to Acknowledgments0.469mg/L and the river sample from 0.211 We will like to thank our mentor Dr. Javierto 0.769 mg/L. We can find a broader Arce and the Laboratory Technician Rubyamount of nitrates in fertilizers, which are Otero. Also the RISE Program for giving uscommonly used in agricultural areas and the opportunity to participate in thissince Rio Caguitas is near a rural area, the research.fertilizers used near this location can end upinside the river. However, the lake is notnear to any agricultural areas, so nitratesfrom fertilizers do not end inside it. Thismeansthat there is a higher probability thatthe concentration of nitrates is higher in theriver than in the lake.For future works, it would be good to takesamples of water when there is a dry out andafter an extreme precipitation event tomeasure, analyze and compare the nitratelevels. Also what would be good is to takemore samples so that we can have more dataand take samples from different sites in thesame body of water to see where the nitrate 6
  7. 7. Comparison of the Nitrate Levels in Water Bodies of Puerto RicoReferences [Internet]; [Published 1999 June 1]. Volume(107):[approximately 4 p.].Hach Company. 2007. Nitrate. Revised Available2010. Doc 316.53.01070. (p) 1-6 on: C, Jones D. 1975. Natural Soil s/PMC1566680/?page=1Nitrate: The Cause of Nitrate Contamination United States Geological Survey:of Ground Water in Runnels County, Texas. (1) =01_00065&format=img_default&site_no=Self JR, Waskom RM. July 1995. Nitrates in 50055225&set_arithscale_y=on&begin_dateDrinking Water. Revised October 2008. Fact =20120425&end_date=20120502Sheet No. 0.517 A. 1999. Infantile =03_00045&format=img_default&site_no=Methehemoglobinemia: Reexamining the 50055225&set_arithscale_y=on&begin_dateRole of Drinking Water Nitrates. =20120425&end_date=20120502Environmental Health Perspectives 7