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Name: Rachel Stroude

Registration Number:

School: St. Joseph’s Convent, San Fernando

Centre Number: 160068

Territory: Trinidad and Tobago

Topic:

Title:

Year of Exam: 2018-2019

Teacher:

Date:
Table of Contents

Site Visit Reports 2-14

- Site Visit #1 3

- Site Visit #2 6

- Site Visit #3 9

- Site Visit #4 12

Labs 15-30

- pH 16

- Dissolved Oxygen 19

- Temperature 22

- Total Suspended Solids 24

- Total Dissolved Solids 28

Final Report 31-47

- Problem Statement 32

- Purpose of Study 32

- Method of Data Collection 33

- Map of Trinidad showing Guaracara River 34

- Literature Review 35

- Presentation of Data 36

- Conclusion 42

- Recommendations 43

- References 44

- Appendix A 46

i
Site Visit Reports

2
Site No. #1

Date: 23/11/2018

Location: Pone Avenue, Williamsville

GPS: 10.32396°N, 61.37940°W

Objectives:

- To collect water samples for testing

- To determine the quality of the water in the Guaracara River

- To determine man’s main activities in the area

- To make and record observations about human population impact on water quality

Introduction:

The Guaracara river travels through the town of Gasparillo and encompasses a variety of land

uses which includes an extensive residential area, several commercial practices such as animal

feed manufacturing and metal fabricating and traversing alongside an industrial estate before

exiting into the ocean.

Activities:

 The water samples were collected. Commented [B1]: Describe how this was done

 The water was tested for pH, total dissolved oxygen (TDO), temperature (air and water).

 Observations were made and recorded.

 Pictures were taken.

 Data sheet was completed (see Appendix).

3
 Biological and pollution indicators were identified.

Record of Observations: Commented [B2]: weather at the time of the visit


indicate the weather was much more rainy the previous week -
flooding
 Weather: sunny and slightly overcast; the previous week there was torrential rain which

lead to the river overflowing its banks and flooding the nearby areas. The flooding would

have cleared away any garbage in the channel and river bank leaving a line of garbage at

the top of the river bank.

 Vegetation: lush green trees, grasses, vines and bamboo patches

 River: water level - mid bank; colour of water- grey; flow of water- moderate

 Biological indicators: butterflies, two dogs nearby, ants

 Evidence of pollution: a drain nearby that empties into the river; garbage such as plastic Commented [B3]: describe – plastic bottles...
remember to state there was a line of garbage on the upper part of
the bank
bottles and bags, food containers and wrappers were found along the top of the river bank

in a line and the nearby bamboo patch on the river bank; and in the channel itself, there was Commented [B4]: no odour, no surface scum

no odour being emitted from the water or no presence of surface scum.

 Land use: At this site, there were several varying uses of the land: 1. There was a road and Commented [B5]: road, bridge, poultry shop, doubles hut.
Residential area
no industry
bridge, which crosses over the river, that receive a constant flow of traffic especially during

rush hours, 2. Commercial- there was a poultry depot on one side of the road and a doubles

vendor on the other side and 3. Residential- there were houses on either side of the river’s

banks along the road. Commented [B6]: This goes in observations

4
Comments:

The vegetation on either side of the river’s banks was lush and green due to the fact the water in

the river was clean enough to support plant life in the surrounding areas. Along with the

vegetation, there is a presence of biological indicators such as butterflies, ants and dogs which

shows that the environment is able to support an ecosystem.

There was evidence of pollution such as the emptying of a drain into the river which could cause

eutrophication and garbage on the river bank and in the channel. Commented [B7]: what are some ways the land use might have
affected the water?

Land use can affect the water and its quality in various ways such as: Commented [B8]: Be more specific than this – use the
observations as a basis for the comments

- Eutrophication caused by increase in nutrients from surface runoff containing pet waste

and detergents.

- Decreased dissolved oxygen

- Extinction of aquatic organisms

- Acidification of the river from the dumping of residential wastewater

Follow up Activities:

- Lab testing water samples for total dissolved solids (TDS)

- Visit sites #2, 3, 4 where the activities were repeated

5
Site No. #2 Commented [B9]:
Objectives 1 /1
Activities 4 /4
Date: 23/11/2018 Observations 2/2
Comments 1 ½ /2
Follow-up Activities 1 /1
Location: Ragoobar Street, Gasparillo

GPS: 10.31789°N, 61.42373°W

Objectives:

- To collect water samples for testing.

- To determine the quality of the water in the Guaracara River.

- To determine man’s main activities in the area.

- To make and record observations about human population impact on water quality.

Introduction:

The Guaracara River travels through the town of Gasparillo and encompasses a variety of land

uses which includes an extensive residential area, several commercial practices such as animal

feed manufacturing and metal fabricating and traversing alongside an industrial estate before

exiting into the ocean.

Activities:

• The water samples were collected. Commented [B10]: Check your punctuation
Fix where needed

• The water was tested for pH, total dissolved oxygen (TDO), temperature (air and water).

• Observations made and recorded.

• Pictures were taken.

• Data sheet was completed (see Appendix).

6
• Biological and pollution indicators were identified.

Record of Observations:

• Weather: sunny and slightly overcast

• Vegetation: lush green trees, grasses and shrubs

• River: water level - low; colour of water- grey; flow of water- moderate, the sides of the

channel were enclosed with concrete.

• Biological indicators: butterflies, ants, sewage fungi (algae), dragonfly, aquatic insects

• Evidence of pollution: leaf litter; run off from the houses nearby in the form of gray water

from showers, baths, whirlpool tubs, washing machines, dishwashers and sinks and black water

from toilets and kitchen sinks; one of the nearby drains flowed directly into the tributary of the

Guaracara River, there was no odour being emitted from the water or no presence of surface

scum.

• Land use: At this site, there were several varying uses of the land: 1. There was a road

and bridge, which crosses over the river, that receive a constant flow of traffic especially during

rush hours and another road that passes alongside the river; 2. Commercial- there was a hardware

next to the river and a tire shop, car wash and food stall further down the road and 3. Residential-

there were houses on one side of the river’s banks along the road.

7
Comments:

The vegetation on either side of the river’s banks was lush and green due to the fact the

water in the river was clean enough to support plant life in the surrounding areas. Along with the

vegetation, there is a presence of biological indicators such as butterflies, ants, a dragonfly,

aquatic insects and algae which shows that the environment is able to support an ecosystem.

There was evidence of pollution such as the emptying of a drain into the river and

domestic wastewater which could cause eutrophication as well as decaying leaf litter which can

reduce the total dissolved oxygen present in the river.

Land use can affect the water and its quality in various ways such as: Commented [B11]: Discuss specific info from your observations

- Eutrophication from surface runoff containing pet waste

- Decreased dissolved oxygen

- Extinction of aquatic organisms

- Acidification of the river from the dumping of residential waste water

Follow up Activities:

- Lab testing water samples for total dissolved solids (TDS)

- Visit sites #,3, 4 where the activities were repeated

8
Site No. #3 Commented [B12]:
Objectives 1 /1
Activities 4 /4
Date: 23/11/2018 Observations 2/2
Comments 1 ½ /2
Follow-up Activities 1 /1
Location: Sixth Street, Marabella

GPS: 10.31003°N, 61.44759°W

Objectives:

- To collect water samples for testing

- To determine the quality of the water in the Guaracara River

- To determine man’s main activities in the area

- To make and record observations about human population impact on water quality

Introduction:

The Guaracara River travels through the town of Marabella and encompasses a variety of land

uses which includes an extensive residential area, several commercial practices such as animal

feed manufacturing and metal fabricating and traversing alongside an industrial estate before

exiting into the ocean.

Activities: Commented [B13]: Fix as indicated for the previous site visit

• The water samples were collected

• The water was tested for pH, total dissolved oxygen (TDO), temperature (air and water)

• Observations made and recorded

• Pictures were taken

• Data sheet were completed (see Appendix)

9
• Biological and pollution indicators located

Record of Observations:

• Weather: sunny and little cloud cover; the previous week there was torrential rains which

lead to the river overflowing its banks and flooding the nearby areas. The flooding would have

cleared away any garbage in the channel and river bank leaving a line of garbage at the top of the

river bank.

• Vegetation: lush green trees, shrubs, grasses and moss

• River: water level – mid bank; colour of water- brown; flow of water- very slow

• Biological indicators: moss, dragonfly, mosquito, trees (coconut, breadfruit and mango),

crabs from the presence of crab holes

• Evidence of pollution: strong chemical odour; surface scum in the form of an iridescent

film on the water surface; domestic wastewater runoff from the houses next to the river; garbage

such as plastic bottles and bags, food containers and wrappers were found along the top of the

river bank in a line; and noise pollution from the machinery used the refining of oil and gas in

Petrotrin

• Land use: At this site, there were two main uses of the land: 1. Residential- there are

houses on the river bank most accessible from Sixth Street and 2. Industrial- on the opposite

bank, there is Petrotrin which is the national oil and natural gas refinery.

Comments:

The vegetation on the side of the river most accessible was lush and green due to the fact

the water in the river was clean enough to support plant life in the surrounding areas. Along with

10
the vegetation, there is a presence of biological indicators such as butterflies, ants and dogs

which shows that the environment is able to support an ecosystem.

There was evidence of pollution such as the emptying of a drain into the river which could cause

eutrophication and garbage on the river bank and in the channel.

Land use can affect the water and its quality in various ways such as: Commented [B14]: Use the specific observations for this site

- Eutrophication from surface runoff containing pet waste

- Decreased dissolved oxygen

- Extinction of aquatic organisms

- Acidification of the river from the dumping of residential waste water and petrochemicals

from the refinery

Follow up Activities:

- Lab testing water samples for total dissolved solids (TDS)

- Visit site #4 where the activities were repeated

11
Site No. #4 Commented [B15]:
Objectives 1 /1
Activities 4 /4
Date: 23/11/2018 Observations 2/2
Comments 1 ½ /2
Follow-up Activities 1 /1
Location: Main Road, Marabella

GPS: 10.30928°N, 61.45245°W

Objectives:

- To collect water samples for testing

- To determine the quality of the water in the Guaracara River

- To determine man’s main activities in the area

- To make and record observations about human population impact on water quality

Introduction:

The Guaracara River travels perpendicular to the Main Road in Marabella and encompasses a

variety of land uses which includes an extensive residential area, several commercial practices

such as animal feed manufacturing and metal fabricating and traversing alongside an industrial

estate before exiting into the ocean.

Activities:

• The water samples were collected

• The water was tested for pH, total dissolved oxygen (TDO), temperature (air and water)

• Observations made and recorded

• Pictures were taken

• Data sheet were completed (see Appendix)

• Biological and pollution indicators located

12
Record of Observations:

• Weather: sunny, breezy and little cloud cover

• Vegetation: trees, grasses

• River: water level – mid bank; colour of water- brown; flow of water- very slow

• Biological indicators: ants, fish, crabs

• Evidence of pollution: There was a pungent odour that came from the homeless person

that lived under the bridge and the garbage found on the river bank was left by the same

homeless person. The water in the channel had surface scum.

• Land use: At this site, there were several varying uses of the land: 1. There is a road and

bridge that passes over the river which receive large amounts of traffic during rush hours; and 2.

Commercial: On either side of the river channel, there is a business establishment, on one side,

there is a car wash and on the opposite there is a shopping centre Tropical Plaza.

Comments:

The vegetation on either side of the river’s banks was green due to the fact the water in the river

was clean enough to support plant life in the surrounding areas. Along with the vegetation, there

is a presence of biological indicators such as ants, fish and crabs which shows that the

environment is able to support an ecosystem.

There was evidence of pollution such as the emptying of a drain into the river which could cause

eutrophication and garbage on the river bank and in the channel.

Land use can affect the water and its quality in various ways such as:

- Eutrophication from surface runoff produced in the car wash and along the river bank

containing dissolved soaps, waxes and compounds as well as human faecal waste

13
- Decreased dissolved oxygen

- Extinction of aquatic organisms

- Acidification of the river from the dumping of commercial waste water Commented [B16]: Comments based on observations specific
to this site

Follow up Activities:

- Lab testing water samples for total dissolved solids (TDS)

14
Labs

15
Lab No.: 1

Title: pH Commented [B17]:


Planning and Designing 4/4
Observation & Recording 5/5
Aim: To determine the pH of water samples collected at four different sites along the Guaracara Manipulation & Measurement 2/2
Analysis & Interpretation 6 /6note my comments
Reporting & Presentation 2/3conclusion is missing
River

Materials: sample bottles with water samples

pH paper

pH indicator chart

Method: Commented [B18]: Wrong tense here


Remember you are writing a report
E.g. A strip of pH paper was dipped ...
1. For water sample #1, a strip of pH paper was dipped into the sample bottle ensuring it was
Please fix this
halfway covered by the water.

2. The pH paper was left in the water for 5 seconds and then removed the water. Commented [B19]: Complete this sentence

3. The colour of the strip was checked against the indicator chart and the colour change and pH

value was recorded.

4. Steps 1-4 were repeated with water samples #2-4.

5. All observations were recorded.

Results/Observations:

Site No. pH Colour pH Value

1 yellow 5

2 yellow green 6

3 yellow green 6

4 yellow 5

Figure 1 Table showing the colour of the pH paper and pH value of water samples collected along Commented [B20]: Remember that you must refer to all
diagrams at least once

Guaracara River

16
Analysis: Commented [B21]: This needs to be better developed
Discuss the specific factors from each site

According to Fondriest Environmental, Inc. (2013), pH is “a determined value based on a

defined scale, similar to temperature. This means that pH of water is not a physical parameter

that can be measured as a concentration or in a quantity. Instead, it is a figure between 0 and 14

defining how acidic or basic a body of water is along a logarithmic scale. The lower the number,

the more acidic the water is. The higher the number, the more basic it is. A pH of 7 is considered

neutral. The logarithmic scale means that each number below 7 is 10 times more acidic than the

previous number when counting down. Likewise, when counting up above 7, each number is 10

times more basic than the previous number.” In other words, pH is a measure of how acidic or

basic a solution is on a scale from 0 to 14 with 0 being strongly acidic, 14 strongly basic and 7

neutral. The water collected from all four sites is not considered suitable for consumption. The

pH of water collected was 5-6 whereas clean river water has a pH of 7.4. Commented [B22]: What is the expected value for river water

You compare the actual values for the 4 sites to the expected or
From the results in Figure 1, it was observed that: ideal value in the discussion as needed.

1. Sites 1 and 4 have a pH of 5 which was shown by the pH paper turning yellow which means

that the water is slightly acidic;

2. Sites 2 and 3 have a pH of 6 which was represented by the pH paper turning yellow- green that

indicates the water was almost neutral but still slightly acidic.

These results were slightly unexpected due to the fact that the areas where the water

samples were collected have several factors that could have severely affected the pH of the

water. These factors would have, under other circumstances, caused the water to have a much

lower pH of 3-4.

17
Some factors that would have affected the pH of the water samples: Commented [B23]: Use specific information form the sites to
support these points

 Waste water from the residential areas (sites #1-3)- grey water from showers, baths,

whirlpool tubs, washing machines, dishwashers and sinks and black water from toilets

and kitchen sinks; commercial areas (sites #1,2,4)- gray and black water that contained

dissolved soaps, greases, oils, waxes and compounds used at the food stalls, car wash, tire

shops and Tropical Plaza, organic biodegradable matter from poultry depot; and

industrial area (site #3)- water from cooling the machinery and oil or natural gas that may

have spilled from the plant nearby.

 Acid rain from the previous week’s torrential rainfall.

 Increased dissolved carbon dioxide levels from the decaying leaf litter in the channel

found at Site #2.

Conclusion: Commented [B24]: incomplete

The pH of the water in the Guaracara River ranges from 5-6 whereas clean river water has a pH Commented [B25]: which site has the highest?
Lowest?

of 7.4.

18
Lab No.: 2

Title: Dissolved Oxygen (D.O)

Aim: To determine the dissolved oxygen of water samples collected at four different sites along

the Guaracara River

Materials: sample bottles with water samples

DO meter

Method:

1. For water sample #1, the probe on the DO meter was dipped into the sample bottle

ensuring it was halfway covered by the water.

2. Wait at least 5 seconds then remove the probe.

3. The reading was given on the screen of the meter and was recorded.

4. Steps 1-3 were repeated with water samples #2-4.

5. All observations were recorded.

Results/Observations:

Site No. Dissolved Oxygen (ppm)

1 13.7

2 11.53

3 5.7

4 4.10

Figure 1 showing the dissolved oxygen of water samples collected along Guaracara River

19
Analysis:

According to Fondriest Environmental, Inc. (2013), dissolved oxygen refers to “the level

of free, non-compound oxygen present in water or other liquids. It is an important parameter in

assessing water quality because of its influence on the organisms living within a body of water.

In limnology (the study of lakes), dissolved oxygen is an essential factor second only to water

itself. A dissolved oxygen level that is too high or too low can harm aquatic life and affect water

quality.” In other words, dissolved oxygen is a measure of how much free oxygen there is

present in a solution on a scale of 0 to 18ppm (parts per million) with readings below 3ppm are

stressful to most aquatic organisms and might not support fish at all whereas readings above

8ppm are able to support growth and normal activity of large diverse populations. The water

collected from all four sites is considered suitable for supporting the growth and normal activity.

The D.O of water collected was 4.10ppm- 13.7ppm whereas clean river water has a D.O of 4-

7ppm.

From the results in Figure 1, it was observed that:

 Sites 1 and 2 have a dissolved oxygen reading of 13.7ppm and 11.53ppm respectively

which indicates the river is an oxygen rich environment that can comfortably support

plant and animal life

 Sites 3 and 4 have a dissolved oxygen reading of 5.7ppm and 4.10ppm respectively

which indicates the river has just enough oxygen to sustain young plant and animal life.

Some factors that would have affected the pH of the water samples:

 Water is too warm- The increased molecular activity of the warm water pushes the

oxygen molecules out of the spaces between the moving water molecules.

20
 Too many bacteria and an excess amount of biological oxygen demand (BOD: untreated

sewage, partially treated sewage, organic discharges, anoxic discharges) which use up

DO.

Conclusion:

The D.O of the water in the Guaracara River ranges from 4.10ppm- 13.7ppm whereas clean river

water has a D.O of 4-7ppm.

21
Lab No.: 3

Title: Temperature

Aim: To determine the temperature of water samples collected at four different sites along the

Guaracara River

Materials: sample bottles with water samples

thermometer

Method:

1. For water sample #1, the bulb on the thermometer was dipped into the sample bottle

ensuring it was halfway covered by the water and not touching the bottom of the sample

bottle.

2. Wait at least 5 seconds then remove the thermometer.

3. The reading on the thermometer was allowed to stabilise and then was taken at eye level

and recorded.

4. Steps 1-3 were repeated with water samples #2-4.

5. All observations were recorded.

Results/Observations:

Site No. Water Temperature (°C)

1 22.7

2 21.8

3 23

4 23.9

Figure 1 showing the temperature of water samples collected along Guaracara River

22
Analysis:

According to Fondriest Environmental, Inc. (2014), water temperature refers to “a

measurement of the average thermal energy of water. Thermal energy is the kinetic energy of

atoms and molecules, so water temperature in turn measures the average kinetic energy of the

atoms and molecules.” In other words, water temperature is a measurement of hot or cold the

water is that is measured in degrees Celsius (℃) or Fahrenheit (℉). The water collected from all

four sites is considered suitable for supporting growth and normal activity. The temperature of

water collected was 21.8℃ - 23.9℃ whereas clean river water has a temperature of < 32℃.

From the results in Figure 1, it was observed that sites 1 (22.7℃), 2 (21.8℃), 3 (23℃)

and 4 (23.9℃) had similar readings which indicates the river has a general stable temperature

that created a perfect environment for both plants and animals to survive.

Some factors that would have affected the temperature of the water samples:

 Air temperature- Atmospheric heat transfer occurs at the water’s surface. If the air is hot,

cold water will receive the energy and warm up.

 Thermal pollution (Site 3)- Waste water that was used to cool the machinery used to refine

natural gas and crude oil is dumped in the river. This water is at a higher temperature than

the water in the river and can negatively affect water quality. There are several significant

consequences of thermal pollution, including diminished dissolved oxygen levels, fish kills

and influxes of invasive species.

Conclusion:

The temperature of the water in the Guaracara River ranges from 21.8℃ - 23.9℃ whereas clean

river water has a temperature of < 32℃.

23
Lab No.: 4

Title: Total Suspended Solids (TSS)

Aim: To determine the total suspended solids in water samples collected at four different sites

along the Guaracara River

Materials: Filter paper

Balance accurate to four decimal places

1L water sample

Funnel

1L beaker

100ml measuring cylinder

Method:

1. Weigh the filter paper and record the weight.

2. Filter the 1L water sample, from site 1, through the weighed filter paper.

3. Allow filter paper to dry completely.

4. Reweigh filter paper and record the change in the weight.

5. Multiply the weight of dissolved solids by 10,000 to determine TSS

6. Repeat steps 1-5 for water samples from sites 2-4.

24
Results:

Site Initial weight (g) Final weight (g) TSS (ppm)

1 1.1419 1.1583 164

2 1.0684 1.3463 2779

3 1.0749 1.1762 1013

4 1.1330 1.1551 221

Figure 1 showing the total suspended solids water samples collected along Guaracara River

Analysis:

According to Fondriest Environmental, Inc. (2013), total suspended solids refers to

“particles that are larger than 2 microns found in the water column. Anything smaller than 2

microns (average filter size) is considered a dissolved solid. Most suspended solids are made up

of inorganic materials, though bacteria and algae can also contribute to the total solids’

concentration. These solids include anything drifting or floating in the water, from sediment, silt,

and sand to plankton and algae.” In other words, total suspended solids are a measure of how

much suspended solids, organic and inorganic, there is present in a solution. The T.S.S of water

collected was 164- 2779ppm whereas clean river water has a T.S.S of. <20ppm.

From the results in Figure 1, it was observed that:

 Site 1 and 4 had the lowest TSS readings, 164ppm and 221ppm respectively- the water

had the highest levels of clarity which would allow more sunlight to reach further down

to assist in photosynthesis in aquatic plants present.

25
 Site 2 and 3 have a TSS reading of 2779ppm and 1013ppm respectively- High TSS can

block light from reaching submerged vegetation. As the amount of light passing through

the water is reduced, photosynthesis slows down. Reduced rates of photosynthesis cause

less dissolved oxygen to be released into the water by plants. If light is completely

blocked from bottom dwelling plants, the plants will stop producing oxygen and will die.

Some factors that would have affected the total suspended solids in the water samples:

 High Flow Rates- The flow rate of the water body is a primary factor in TSS

concentrations. Fast running water can carry more particles and larger-sized sediment.

Heavy rains can pick up sand, silt, clay, and organic particles (such as leaves, soil, tire

particles) from the land and carry it to surface water. A change in flow rate can also affect

TSS; if the speed or direction of the water current increases, particulate matter from

bottom sediments may be resuspended.

 Soil Erosion- Soil erosion is caused by disturbance of a land surface. Soil erosion can be

caused by Building and Road Construction, Forest Fires, Logging, and Mining. The

eroded soil particles can be carried by storm water to surface water. This will increase the

TSS of the water body.

 During storm events, soil particles and debris from streets and industrial, commercial,

and residential areas can be washed into streams. Because of the large amount of

pavement in urban areas, infiltration is decreased, velocity increases, and natural settling

areas have been removed. Sediment is carried through storm drains directly to creeks and

rivers.

26
 Wastewater and Sewage- Wastewater from residential areas contain food residue, human

waste, and other solid material that is put down the drains. Although the wastewater is

treated at water treatment plants before being released to rivers, the process doesn’t

remove everything.

 Decaying Plants and Animals- As plants and animals decay, suspended organic particles

are released and can contribute to the TSS concentration.

Conclusion:

The T.S.S of the water in the Guaracara River ranges from 164- 2779 ppm whereas clean river

water has a T.S.S of <20ppm.

27
Lab No.: 5

Title: Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)

Aim: To determine the total dissolved solids in water samples collected at four different sites along the

Guaracara River

Materials: 4 250ml beakers

Balance accurate to 4 decimal places

Oven set at 50°C

100ml measuring cylinder

Method:

1. Weigh 4 clean dry 250ml beakers and record the results.

2. Place 100ml filtrate from TSS experiment in each beaker.

3. Slowly and carefully evaporate the filtrate to dryness in an oven set at 50°C. Don’t let the beaker

get too hot or some dissolved solids may be vaporised or decomposed.

4. Multiply the weight of dissolved solids by 10,000 to determine TDS.

Results:

Site Initial weight of beaker (g) Final weight of beaker (g) TDS (ppm)

1 122.0679 122.0947 268

2 119.4854 120.2053 7199

3 112.7711 113.4150 6439

4 104.1644 105.0797 9153

Figure 1 showing the total dissolved solids in water samples collected along Guaracara River

28
Analysis:

Total dissolved solids refer to “a measure of the combined total of organic and inorganic

substances contained in a liquid. This includes anything present in water other than the pure H20

molecules. These solids are primarily minerals, salts and organic matter that can be a general

indicator of water quality.” In other words, total dissolved solids are a measure of the amount of

ions such as carbonate, bicarbonate, chloride, sulphate, phosphate, nitrate, calcium, magnesium,

sodium, organic ions, and other ions there is present in a solution. The water collected from all

but one of the four sites are unsuitable for human consumption. The T.D.S of water collected

was 268ppm- 9153ppm whereas clean river water has a T.D.S of 500ppm.

From the results in Figure 1, it was observed that:

 Site 1had a TDS reading of 268ppm which is an acceptable reading and is considered safe for

human consumption

 Sites 2-4 have high TDS readings, those that are well over the acceptable amount which is

generally considered unfit for human consumption. A high level of TDS is an indicator of

potential concerns, and appeals for further investigation.

Some factors that would have affected the total dissolved solids in the water samples:

 During storm events, pollutants such as fertilizers from lawns or kitchen gardens, and other

material can be washed into streams and rivers. Because of the large amount of pavement in

urban areas, infiltration is decreased, and dissolved solids are carried through drains directly

to creeks and rivers.

 Soil Erosion- Soil erosion can be infrastructural development, logging, mining (land

exploration of natural gas and oil) and forest fires. The eroded soil particles may contain

29
soluble components that dissolve and be carried to rivers, and streams. This will increase the

TDS of the water body.

 Decaying Plants and Animals- As plants and animals decay, dissolved organic particles are

released and can contribute to the TDS concentration.

Conclusion:

The T.D.S of the water in the Guaracara River ranges from 268ppm- 9153ppm whereas clean

river water has a T.D.S of 500ppm.

30
Final Report

31
Problem Statement

An investigation of the impact of man’s activities on the water quality of Guaracara River

Purpose of Study

It is important to monitor water quality as it can give a summary of the health of a river,

lake or ocean over a period of weeks, months or years and the effects of human activities on the

ecosystem. The Guaracara River was chosen because it is the main river that South Trinidad.

This river passes through various residential, commercial and industrial areas where it is used in

parts of the manufacturing and production processes or general functioning and maintenance of

these areas.

Various parameters were used to determine the river’s water quality. These included pH,

dissolved oxygen, temperature, total suspended solids and total dissolved oxygen. This study

may be very useful to persons live near to the river, as they will be educated about how their

activities affect the river’s water quality. Various government ministries, Petrotrin and any other

companies could use this information to assist them in developing programs to river water

quality.

32
Method of Data Collection

The researcher took a field trip on Friday 23rd November, 2018 to four different sites along

the Guaracara River: (Site 1- 10.32396°N 61.37940°W); (Site 2- 10.31789°N 61.42373°W);

(Site 3- 10.31003°N 61.44759°W); (Site 4- 10.30928°N 61.45245°W). At each site, several

activities were done. These included collection of water samples, testing of water samples for

pH, total dissolved oxygen (TDO) and temperature, making and recording of observations,

taking of pictures, completion of data sheet (see Appendix) and locating of biological and

pollution indicators. The water that was collected during the site visits were tested for pH,

dissolved oxygen, temperature, total suspended solids and total dissolved solids.

Parameter Procedure

1. For water sample #1, a strip of pH paper was dipped into the sample

bottle ensuring it was halfway covered by the water.

2. The pH paper was left in the water for 5 seconds and then removed Commented [B26]: Complete this sentence

the water.
pH
3. The colour of the strip was checked against the indicator chart and

the colour change and pH value was recorded.

4. Steps 1-4 were repeated with water samples #2-4.

5. All observations were recorded.

1. For water sample #1, the probe on the DO meter was dipped into the

sample bottle ensuring it was halfway covered by the water.


Dissolved Oxygen
2. Wait at least 5 seconds then remove the probe.

3. The reading was given on the screen of the meter and was recorded.

33
4. Steps 1-3 were repeated with water samples #2-4.

5. All observations were recorded.

1. For water sample #1, the bulb on the thermometer was dipped into

the sample bottle ensuring it was halfway covered by the water and

not touching the bottom of the sample bottle.

2. Wait at least 5 seconds then remove the thermometer.


Temperature
3. The reading on the thermometer was allowed to stabilised and then

was taken at eye level and recorded.

4. Steps 1-3 were repeated with water samples #2-4.

5. All observations were recorded.

1. Weigh the filter paper and record the weight.

2. Filter the 1L water sample, from site 1, through the weighed filter paper.
Total Suspended 3. Allow filter paper to dry completely.

Solids 4. Reweigh filter paper and record the change in the weight.

5. Multiply the weight of dissolved solids by 10,000 to determine TSS

6. Repeat steps 1-5 for water samples from sites 2-4.

1. Weigh 4 clean dry 250ml beakers and record the results.

2. Place 100ml filtrate from TSS experiment in each beaker.


Total Dissolved 3. Slowly and carefully evaporate the filtrate to dryness in an oven set at

Solids 50°C. Don’t let the beaker get too hot or some dissolved solids may be

vaporised or decomposed.

4. Multiply the weight of dissolved solids by 10,000 to determine TDS.

34
Map of Trinidad showing Guaracara River

Guaracara River

34
Literature Review

35
Presentation of Data

pH
8 7.4
7
6 6
6
5 5
5

0
Site 1 Site 2 Site 3 Site 4 Clean River
Location

The water collected from all four sites had a pH value that was not suitable for

consumption. Some factors that would have affected the pH of the water samples include waste Commented [B27]: Use specific information form the sites to
support these points

water from the residential, commercial and industrial areas, acid rain from the previous week’s

torrential rainfall and increased dissolved carbon dioxide levels from the decaying leaf litter.

36
DO
16
13.7
14
11.53
12

10
ppm

8 7
5.7
6
4.1
4

0
Site 1 Site 2 Site 3 Site 4 Clean River
Location

The water collected from all four sites is considered suitable for supporting the growth

and normal activity. Some factors that would have affected the pH of the water samples include

water is too warm and too many bacteria and an excess amount of biological oxygen demand

(BOD: untreated sewage, partially treated sewage, organic discharges, anoxic discharges).

37
Temperature
35 32

30

23 23.9
25 22.7 21.8
Axis Title

20

15

10

0
Site 1 Site 2 Site 3 Site 4 Clean River
Location

The water collected from all four sites is considered suitable for supporting growth and

normal activity. It was observed that sites 1 – 4 had similar readings which indicates the river

has a general stable temperature that created a perfect environment for both plants and animals to

survive. Some factors that would have affected the temperature of the water samples are air

temperature and thermal pollution.

38
TSS

Clean River 20

Site 4 221
Location

Site 3 1013

Site 2 2779

Site 1 164

0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000


ppm

It was observed that sites1 and 4 had the highest levels of clarity whereas sites 2 and 3had the

lowest levels of clarity which would negatively affect the aquatic ecosystem. Some factors that

would have affected the total suspended solids in the water samples are high flow rates, soil

erosion, soil particles and debris from streets and industrial, commercial, and residential areas,

wastewater and sewage and decaying plants and animals.

39
TDS
10000 9153
9000

8000 7199
7000 6439

6000
ppm

5000

4000

3000

2000

1000 268 500

0
Site 1 Site 2 Site 3 Site 4 Clean River
Location

The water collected from all but one (Site 1) of the four sites is unsuitable for human

consumption. Some factors that would have affected the total dissolved solids in the water

samples include: pollutants such as fertilizers from lawns or kitchen gardens, and other materials;

soil erosion and decaying plants and animals.

40
Parameters

Sites Temperature
pH DO (ppm) TSS (ppm) TDS (ppm)
(℃)

1 5 13.7 22.7 164 268

2 6 11.53 21.8 2779 7199

3 6 5.7 23 1013 6439

4 5 4.10 23.9 221 9153

Guaracara

River 5.5 8.75 22.9 1044 5765

(Average)

Clean River 7.4 4-7 < 32 <20 500

The water from Guaracara River was slightly acidic (5.5), had 8.75ppm of dissolved oxygen and

had an average temperature of 22.9℃. The water had low clarity levels (TSS- 1044ppm) and

high amounts of dissolved solids (5765ppm).However, when compared to clean river water,

there are some drastic differences and subtle similarities. In terms of pH, DO and temperature,

Guaracara River had very similar readings to those taken from a clean river. Clean river water

has a TSS reading of <20ppm which would allow for sunlight to reach all parts of the river; the

typical TDS reading of 500ppm deems that the water is safe for consumption.

41
Conclusion

Guaracara River has a pH of 5-6, DO 4.10ppm-13.7ppm, temperature of 21.8℃ - 23.9℃ and

TSS and TDS of 164ppm- 2779ppm and 268ppm- 9153ppm respectively. When compared to a

clean river, in terms of parameters such as pH, DO and temperature, Guaracara River had very

similar results, However, Guaracara River has TSS and TDS readings that show a drastic

difference between the water in that river and the water from a clean river.

42
Recommendations

This study has prompted the following recommendations:

 Do the field and laboratory tests multiple times over the course of a few weeks to ensure the
results obtained are valid

 Visit the sites before a period of torrential rain as the rain helps to clean the river and
removes any visible debris while changing various physical and chemical attributes of the

river

 Take water samples from various parts and locations of the river (river banks and centre of
the river; source, upstream, downstream and mouth of the river) as to identify how the

different parameters are affected in each part and location of the river

 Companies who use water from rivers in their manufacturing processes can cool and treat the

water they use before releasing it back to the river. This would prevents animals and plants

dying from the high temperature of the discharged water or the chemicals from the

manufacturing process

43
References

 Fondriest Environmental, Inc. (February 7, 2014) “Water Temperature.”

https://www.fondriest.com/environmental-measurements/parameters/water-quality/water-

temperature/ Date accessed: March 17, 2019

 Fondriest Environmental, Inc. (November 19, 2013) “pH of Water.”

http://www.fondriest.com/environmental-measurements/parameters/water-quality/ph/ Date

accessed: December 10, 2018

 Fondriest Environmental, Inc. (November 19, 2013) “Conductivity, Salinity & Total

Dissolved Solids.” https://www.fondriest.com/environmental-

measurements/parameters/water-quality/conductivity-salinity-tds/ Date accessed: March 9,

2019

 Fondriest Environmental, Inc. (November 19, 2013) “Dissolved Oxygen.”

http://www.fondriest.com/environmental-measurements/parameters/water-quality/dissolved-

oxygen/ Date accessed: December 23, 2018

 Fondriest Environmental, Inc. (November 19, 2013) “Turbidity, Total Suspended Solids &

Water Clarity.” https://www.fondriest.com/environmental-measurements/parameters/water-

quality/turbidity-total-suspended-solids-water-clarity/#Turbid22 Date accessed: March 9,

2019

 Oram B. (2019). “Water Research Center - Total Dissolved Solids Drinking Water Quality.”

https://www.water-research.net/index.php/water-treatment/tools/total-dissolved-solids/ Date

accessed: March 25, 2019

44
 University of Nebraska- Lincoln (n.d.) “Wastewater - What Is It?.”

https://water.unl.edu/article/wastewater/wastewater-what-it Date accessed: December 15,

2018

 Utah State University Extension. (2018) “Dissolved Oxygen.”

https://extension.usu.edu/waterquality/learnaboutsurfacewater/propertiesofwater/dissolvedox

ygen Date accessed: March 9. 2019

 Water Research Centre. (n.d.) “Dissolved Oxygen in Water.” https://www.water-

research.net/index.php/dissovled-oxygen-in-water Date accessed: December 23, 2018

45
Appendix A

Site # ___________ GPS:_______________________________

Arrival Time: ______________________ Departure Time:______________________

Address: _____________________________________________________________________

Weather: _____________________________________________________________________

Topography: __________________________________________________________________

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Observations
Land Use:
Road Commercial Other
Bridge Industrial Specify_________________
Agriculture Residential
Vegetation:
Trees Grasses
Shrubs Other Specify_________________

Description:____________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
__________________

46
River:

Water level: _________________________________________________________________

Colour of water: ______________________________________________________________

Flow of water: ________________________________________________________________

Evidence of Pollution:
Odour Garbage in channel Garbage on banks
Surface Scum Drain nearby Other

Description:____________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

________________________

Air Temperature: _________________________

Water temperature: _________________________

pH: Colour of indicator paper: ___________________ pH value: _____________________

Dissolved Oxygen: _________________________

Biological Indicators:

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

47