Water and the environmental laboratory

Waterand the environmental laboratory

LaboratoryReport – lab 3

Howflow, turbidity and precipitation are related for the Red CedarRiver.

Turbidityis a measure of relative water clarity or how much the materialsuspended in water decreases the passage of light through the water. Suspended materials include soil particles, sand algae, planktons,microbes and other organic and inorganic substances.

Flowof the river relates to the amount of water flowing in the river perunit time as opposed to precipitation which would refer to falling ofsolidified water such as hail or ice.

Inthis report, flow, turbidity and precipitation were investigated andmeasurements taken during the experiment were recorded in tables. The group values were then compared to those obtained by the USGSdepartment to arrive at a firm conclusion. The purpose of theinvestigation was to establish whether a relationship exists betweenthe data collected by the group and the data obtained by USGS andwhether the parameters are related to each other. The hypothesesformulated to determine this situation were stated as:-

  1. A relationship exists between turbidity and flow of the red cedar river.

  2. The data collected by group is significantly different from the data collected by USGS department.

Thenull hypothesis is that the sets of data from the two sources are notsignificantly different and that a relationship does not existbetween the flow of water and turbidity. Measurement of turbidity isa key factor in testing for the quality of water. Human activitiesthat on land always affect turbidity and flow of rivers

Materialsand method

Conventionallaboratory tools were used in the experiment to measure height andweight and information collected was recorded in the table below.

Results

Table1: measurement of water depth and filtration of water samples

10/7/2015

10:20:00

10/9/2015

3:30:00

10/12/2015

6:00:00

10/14/2015

10:20:00

10/19/2015

6:00:00

10/21/2015

10:20:00

Water depth

1yd

1yd 9

1yd 6

1yd 8

1yd 6

1yd 5

time

13:11

4:29

8:37

6:45

7:15

6:42

Mass of clean filter

0.12

0.12

0.123

0.123

0.123

0.123

Mass of used filter

0.124

0.128

0.122

0.121

0.126

Fromthe table above, it is clear that the flow of the Red Cedar River isnot steady but keeps on varying. The highest flow was experienced on10/9/2015 held for four and a half hours, just two days after thelowest flow which was experienced on 10/7/2015 and held for overthirteen hours.

Thechart below also shows this information.

Figure1: chart of water recorded in different times

Inmeasuring turbidity, the highest mass of used filter was recorded on10/9/2015. This is also shown in the chart below

Figure2: chart of mass of used filter at different times

Calculationof turbidity from our data is given in the table below

10/7/2015 10:20:00

10/9/2015 3:30:00

10/12/2015 6:00:00

10/14/2015 10:20:00

10/19/2015 6:00:00

10/21/2015 10:20:00

Water depth

1 yd

1 yd 9

1 yd 6

1 yd 8

1 yd 6

1 yd 5

Time

13:11

4:29

8:37

6:45

7:15

6:42

Mass of clean filter

0.12

0.12

0.123

0.123

0.123

0.123

Mass of used filter

0.124

0.128

0.122

0.121

0.126

filtrate mass

0.004

0.008

-0.001

-0.002

0.003

&nbsp

turbidity

8

16

-2

-4

6

Datadownloaded from USGS and MSU sites gives information in the tablebelow.

10/7/2015

10/9/2015

10/12/2015

10/14/2015

10/19/2015

10/21/2015

Discharge

920

1230

1210

1180

972

904

Precipitation

0.01

0.04

Fromour measurement of discharge the following values were obtained

10/7/2015

10/9/2015

10/12/2015

10/14/2015

10/19/2015

10/21/2015

Discharge

Thegraph below shows the scatter plot between discharge we measured andthe discharge from USGS site.

Thegraph below shows scatter plots on turbidity estimates and USGSdischarge measures.

Graphof discharge against turbidity

Ifthe two factors regressed are strongly correlated, the scatter plotwith have points close to each other in a manner that suggests such alinear relationship when joined together.

Analysisand discussion

Itimportant to note that the same day that recorded the highest heightof water also recorded the highest height of water. A high heightimplies that the flow of water is high. This is also an indicationthat a high water flow gives a high measure of mass of used filter. A high mass of used filter is an indicator of low water clarity dueto particles filtered in the water. This means that turbidity is alsohigh in this case. This is also evident in our calculations.

Conclusionand recommendations

Thisdata supports our hypothesis that the flow of water is related toturbidity in the red cedar river. In drinking water the higher theturbidity the higher the risk of developing a gastrointestinaldiseases and this is why it is crucial to check on the quality ofwater.

Fordischarge to change in response to rain, it takes a few hours sinceaccumulation and changes of water in water sources is cumulative innature. The lag time may be caused by accumulation of the waters.

Thereis a relationship between discharge and river since the smaller thecross sectional area of the river the lower the discharge. Wide anddeep rivers have a relatively high discharge. With such information,the society may know how to control floods and harness quality waterfor use.

Peopleliving in Michigan near the mouth at Grand Haven will be acutelyinterested in the status of the Cedar River because the discharge ofthe river and its turbidity will certainly increase as towards itsmouth bearing in mind the cumulative effects of these factors.

Tohelp improve the legacy of the Red Cedar River, someone living at thewatershed of the river should be keen on the changes in turbidity andflow of the river. This can be achieved through making regularchecks on these factors through consultation with the experts andgeologists.