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Freshwater Ecology SPRING 2019
BIOL 446 / WMAN 446
Water Chemistry and Pollution Loads Answer Sheet
Question 1: Report and compare alkalinity determined by each technique. Show your
calculations. What are the advantages of each method (give at least two examples)?
Question 2 (10 PTS): Report the concentration and pollution load (lbs/day) for Fe within West
Run. To do this, you will need the above discharge calculation and concentration of Fe from the
HACH kits in lab today. Watch units!(If iron test reports zero use 0.4 mg/L Fe)
Question 3 (10 PTS): Calculate discharge (Q m3/s) for Muddy Creek using the above equations.
Show your work.( to Show your work you can either scan or take a picture of your hand
calculations and add it to this word document.
Question 4 (10 PTS): Given the discharge and the above water chemistry data, calculate
pollution loads (in pounds per day) being dumped into the Cheat River from Muddy Creek.
Construct a table that reports the amounts measured (remember units) and pollution load for
each parameters. Show your work for one of your calculations and be sure to watch units!!!
Why will you not be able to calculate a load for Specific Conductance or pH?
Question 5 (10 PTS): Use your skills at finding papers through the WVU libraries page or
Google Scholar to find three professional, scientific articles related to pollution loads. One
article must address alkalinity, iron, acidity, or hardness of West Virginia (or Mid-Atlantic)
rivers. The other two may address water pollution in general. For each article, give a proper
citation and follow the citation with a summary paragraph can be 2 to 3 sentences. Your
summary should include all main ideas and findings in your summary as well as give your
opinions about the article’s relevance, accuracy, quality, methods and conclusions. Your
paragraphs should be no more than 150 words. Use the format below for your citations paying
strict attention to punctuation, spacing, and capitalization.
Grouch, O. T., B. Bird, and T. Monster. 2008. The effect of roller skates on a snuffleupagus
(Elephantus rosa): A study in controlled chaos. The Street Journal: 58(2): 458-460.
Freshwater Ecology SPRING 2019
BIOL 446 / WMAN 446
Water Chemistry and Pollution Loads
INTRODUCTION
In today’s lab, we will analyze water samples and measure various water chemistry parameters
(i.e. Fe, acidity, alkalinity, etc.) and use this information to gain insight into several aspects of
water chemistry of streams. First, we will compare the accuracy of field-obtained methods for
chemistry data (i.e. from Hack Kits) to data obtained in the laboratory. More specifically, we
will compare our field-determined method of alkalinity to a laboratory measure obtained using a
titration method for local streams. Next, we will use data from Poponoe Run to calculate
pollution loads. Pollution loads are used in total maximum daily loads (TMDL’s), which set
water quality standards for a given pollutant. Basically, a TMDL is a statement of the maximum
amount of a pollutant that a stream can receive and still meet water quality standards. Thus, it is
a plan to reduce sources of pollution to a body of water.
Problem Set 4: Chemical Analysis of Water Samples and calculation of
Pollution Loads
Assignment # 1: Comparison b/w field- and lab-obtained alkalinity measures
Remember from class that alkalinity is the
amount of acid required to turn anions into
their neutral species (i.e., the ability to
neutralize acid). To determine the
alkalinity, acid is added to the sample until
the pH drops to 4.5, at which point all the
carbonate alkalinity has been consumed
(see Fig 2.7). The amount of acid added is
then used to calculate total alkalinity in
equivalents of calcium carbonate. HACH
kits provide a nice quick way to determine
alkalinity when you are in the field. But,
they rely on pH color indicators and color
change to signify when the number of
drops of acid added to your sample gets
you to a pH of 4.5. Color change is
subjective and perceived differently among
different people, especially in the field. In a lab setting, titrating with a pH meter or using pH
test strips tends to be more accurate than the field tests. In lab today, we will determine the
alkalinity of water samples from Poponoe Run, by titrating with acid and using pH test strips,
instead of pH color indicators, to signify the pH end point. Compare the HACH estimates of
alkalinity to those obtained titrating in the lab.
1
Activity 1.1 Titration
Follow the instructions below. Be sure to use caution when handling the acid solution!
1. Place 50 ml of 0.02 M sulfuric acid in a burette.
2. Place 50 ml of water sample to be tested in a beaker (you will need to gently swirl your
sample to mix as you titrate).
3. Arrange pH meter and probe stand so probe tip is in the sample, which is under the
burette. Turn on pH meter. If a pH meter is not available, prepare an initial pH reading
with a test strip.
4. Note the initial burette reading, and titrate water sample to a pH of 4.5. Be careful to not
titrate lower than 4.5.
5. Note the burette reading again, and determine the volume of sulfuric acid used to titrate
the sample to pH 4.5.
6. Total alkalinity in mg/L as CaCO3 is calculated as: (ml of H2SO4 used)*20
ALKALINITY (titration) _______90_______________mg/L CaCO3 eq
Activity 1.2 HACH Kit
Follow the instructions provided in the HACH kit to determine alkalinity.
ALKALINITY (HACH kit method) ____________170________________mg/L CaCO3 eq
Question 1. (10 PTS): Report and compare alkalinity determined by each technique. Show your
calculations. What are the advantages of each method (give at least two examples)?
Activity #2: Stream Discharge and Pollution Loads
The calculation of pollution loads begins by determining the concentration of the pollutant in the
stream at your site. These values are in units of mass per volume (e.g., mg/L). However,
because streams contain flowing water, the concentration of the pollutant of interest doesn’t
mean much until we also consider the amount of water flowing by our sampling site per unit
time. Therefore, we need to also estimate the discharge or flow rate of water at our site. This
value will be in volume of water per time (e.g., m3/s). Thus, the product of discharge and
concentration of a given pollutant is an estimate of the mass of the pollutant passing by a given
point over some unit of time (e.g. the load of the pollutant in kg/day).
Activity 2.1 West Run
Discharge for West Run: The wetted width of West Run was 4.0m. Depths and current
velocities were taken at evenly spaced points are provided in the following table. Use the
following values to estimate the discharge for West Run by finding the average depth and the
average velocity and multiplying them by the wetted width. Watch units!
2
Table 1. Location number, depth, and current velocity for
evenly spaced points across a 4.0m transect in West Run.
Location
0
0.5
1.0
1.5
2.0
2.5
3.0
Depth (cm)
8
17
17
14
12
11
8
Current velocity (m/s)
0.00
0.17
0.24
0.14
0.28
0.33
0.31
8
4
0.08
0.00
3.5
4.0
Average
Discharge (m3/s) = Wetted width (m) x average depth (m) x average velocity (m/s)
Discharge for West Run
(m3/s)
9.74
Pollution Loads for West Run: Pollution loads are calculated by multiplying the concentration of
your pollutant (mg/L) by the discharge (m3/s). However, we will have to convert units to get
numbers that are interpretable. Below is an example of how to convert pollution loads to lbs/day.
Useful Conversions: 1,000,000 cm3 = 1 m3; 1,000 cm3 = 1 L; 1000L = 1m3; 1 kg = 2.2 lbs
1)
2)
3)
4)
π‘šπ‘”
𝐿
Γ—
π‘šπ‘”π‘š3
𝐿𝑠
π‘šπ‘”
𝑠
𝑙𝑏𝑠
𝑠
Γ—
Γ—
π‘š3
=
𝑠
Γ—
π‘šπ‘”π‘š3
𝐿𝑠
1,000,000 π‘π‘š3
1π‘š3
1𝑔
1000π‘šπ‘”
60𝑠
π‘šπ‘–π‘›
Γ—
Γ—
1π‘˜π‘”
1000𝑔
60π‘šπ‘–π‘›
β„Žπ‘Ÿ
Γ—
Γ—
1𝐿
1,000π‘π‘š3
Γ—
2.2𝑙𝑏𝑠
24β„Žπ‘Ÿ
π‘‘π‘Žπ‘¦
π‘˜π‘”
=
=
=
π‘šπ‘”
𝑠
𝑙𝑏𝑠
𝑠
𝑙𝑏𝑠
π‘‘π‘Žπ‘¦
Question 2 (10 PTS): Report the concentration and pollution load (lbs/day) for Fe within West
Run. To do this, you will need the above discharge calculation and concentration of Fe from the
HACH kits in lab today. Watch units!(If iron test reports zero use 0.4 mg/L Fe)
Activity 2.2 Muddy Creek
Let’s work with some additional data collected from Muddy Creek to calculate a pollution load
(Muddy Creek is polluted with AMD and therefore has a lot of dissolved iron in its water). On
3
July 29, 2002 water quality was measured on Muddy Creek at the mouth, just before the creek
empties into the Cheat River (this is real data!).
Discharge for Muddy Creek: The wetted width of the stream at the location was 19.6 m,
and nine measurements of depth and average current velocity were taken at equally spaced
locations across the stream. Depth and average current velocity data are in the following table:
Table 2. Depths and current velocities for the calculation
discharge for muddy creek.
Sample #
(n)
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
Location (l; meters)
0
1.96
3.92
5.88
7.84
9.80
11.76
13.72
15.68
17.64
19.6
Depth (d;
cm)
0
37
19
23
20
17
23
37
46
48
0
Velocity (v;
m/s)
0
0.39
0.33
0.18
0.31
0.21
0.3
0.34
0.1
0.55
0
With the West Run data, you calculated discharge by averaging depths and velocities and
multiplying those averages by the wetted width (Q= avg velocity * avg depth * wetted width).
This method gives a fairly accurate measure, but it is NOT the preferred method. The preferred
method is the β€œmid-section method” and is calculated using the following formulas:
π‘„π‘‘π‘œπ‘‘π‘Žπ‘™ = βˆ‘ π‘žπ‘› = βˆ‘ π‘Žπ‘› 𝑉𝑛
𝑙(𝑛+1) βˆ’ 𝑙(π‘›βˆ’1)
π‘Žπ‘› = 𝑑𝑛 Γ— (
)
2
π‘žπ‘› = π‘Žπ‘› Γ— 𝑣𝑛 ,
Where dn and ln are depth and location at point n along the transect.
Question 3 (10 PTS): Calculate discharge (Q m3/s) for Muddy Creek using the above equations.
Show your work.
Pollution Loads for Muddy Creek: The following are some of the actual values of water quality
parameters measured in Muddy Creek:
pH = 4.1
Specific Conductance = 731 Β΅S/cm
TDS = 0.475 g/L
Al = 5.0 mg/L
Mn = 0.72 mg/L
Sulfate = 168.0 mg/L
4
Fe = 1.1 mg/L
Question 4 (10 PTS): Given the discharge and the above water chemistry data, calculate
pollution loads (in pounds per day) being dumped into the Cheat River from Muddy Creek.
Construct a table that reports the amounts measured (remember units) and pollution load for
each parameters. Show your work for one of your calculations and be sure to watch units!!!
Why will you not be able to calculate a load for Specific Conductance or pH?
Activity #3: Background Research and Annotated Bibliography
Question 5 (10 PTS): Use your skills at finding papers through the WVU libraries page or
Google Scholar to find three professional, scientific articles related to pollution loads. One
article must address alkalinity, iron, acidity, or hardness of West Virginia (or Mid-Atlantic)
rivers. The other two may address water pollution in general. For each article, give a proper
citation and follow the citation with a summary paragraph can be 2 to 3 sentences. Your
summary should include all main ideas and findings in your summary as well as give your
opinions about the article’s relevance, accuracy, quality, methods and conclusions. Your
paragraphs should be no more than 150 words. Use the format below for your citations paying
strict attention to punctuation, spacing, and capitalization.
Grouch, O. T., B. Bird, and T. Monster. 2008. The effect of roller skates on a snuffleupagus
(Elephantus rosa): A study in controlled chaos. The Street Journal: 58(2): 458-460.
5

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