What is an Indicator? Water is seen as “good quality” or “bad quality” based off of several criteria These criteria indicate the health of the water Includes turbidity, pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature, nitrates, and bio-indicators Definition: Turbidity Turbidity: measure of the degree to which water looses its transparency due to the presence of suspended particulates This is a river with high turbidity Levels: Turbidity Ideal level: 1 NTU (Nephelometric unit) High level: 5 NTU Causes: Turbidity Causes of increased turbidity: Increased levels of phytoplankton sediment from erosion, re-suspended sediments from the bottom (stirred by bottom dwellers), waste discharge, algae growth, and urban runoff Results: Turbidity Results of high turbidity: High turbidity increases the absorption of sunlight thus making the water warmer. Warmer water has lower levels of dissolved oxygen causing fish and larvae to die Definition: pH pH: the acidity of the water (presence of hydrogen ion) 07 is acidic 7 is neutral 7 14 is basic Levels: pH Surface Freshwater: 6.0 9.0 Swamps: as low as 4.3 Salt Water: 8.1 but as low as 7.7 Causes: pH Causes of changes of pH: Natural conditions (especially in swamps), dumping of waste (batteries) and farm runoff (lime) Results: pH Results of changes of pH: A change in pH by 2 units results in a water system having 100 times a difference in acidity Most aquatic life cannot withstand water outside the optimum pH thus resulting in death Definition: Dissolved Oxygen Dissolved Oxygen: the oxygen dissolved in the water Levels: Dissolved Oxygen Average level: 9.0 ppm (parts per million) Must be 4-5 ppm to support diverse population of fish Causes: Dissolved Oxygen Causes of changes in dissolved oxygen: turbulent actions (waves, rapids), water depth, and plant growth Results: Dissolved Oxygen Results of changes in dissolved oxygen: When DO drops too low, fish die When DO is high, the water actually tastes better but can corrode water pipes Definition: Temperature Temperature: the measure of average kinetic energy Levels: Temperature Low: cannot be tolerated below 32 degrees F High: only rough fish can tolerate temperatures above 97 degrees F Causes: Temperature Causes of change in temperature: source of water, time of year, suspended sediment, depth of water, and shade from shoreline vegetation Results: Temperature Results of changes in temperature: changes in temperature can make aquatic life susceptible to disease and at extreme levels can result in death Definition: Nitrates Nitrates: compound that contains the nitrogen based polyatomic ion NO3 (Ex: Sodium Nitrate) Levels: Nitrates Drinking Water Max: 10 mg/L Fish: Below 90 mg/L seems to have no effect on warm water fish Causes: Nitrates Causes of nitrates: Fertilizer runoff (both farm and home), manure pits, leaks in septic systems, animal waste, and rain trapping car exhaust Results: Nitrates Results of presence of nitrates: Nitrates can increase the plant production and fish population resulting in overcrowding If algae increases due to nitrates, the pH levels decrease killing fish Nitrates are converted to nitrites in humans (can kill children) Definition: Bio-indicators Bio-indicators: macroinvertibrates found living in water (they tend to remain in one place) that are sensitive to pollution Levels: Bio-indicators High level of variety: healthy water source Small level of variety: poor water source (indicator of high levels of pollution) Causes: Bio-indicators Causes of changes in bio- indicators: Pollution that results in changes in pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen, or nitrate levels Results: Bio-indicators Results of few varieties of bio-indicators present: the lack of a large number of different varieties of bioindicators is indicative of pollution Foldable - INSTRUCTIONS Title Page – Use title given on Table of Contents. Add Name, Date, Block Color in upper right hand corner. Page number goes on the bottom outermost corner of the foldable. Title: Water Quality Indicators Foldable Page # 48 Each Tab Should have the following: Title of Indicator: 1. What is an indicator? 2. Turbidity 3. pH 4. Dissolved Oxygen 5. Temperature 6. Nitrates 7. Bio-Indicators Definition & Levels Causes Results Picture (BE CREATIVE! YOU MAY NOT COPY THE PICTURES FROM THIS POWERPOINT!) EVERYTHING ON THIS FOLDABLE SHOULD BE IN COLOR! All WORDS should be in color! NO PENCIL. You may use pen, markers, or colored pencils All PICTURES should be fully colored! All BACKGROUNDS should be fully colored!