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Chemical. The relationship between land use & likely aquatic life By: Clara Stunkel, Christy Schile, Breanna Creek, Steph Moxley, Cynthia May, Rachel Hayes, Alisa Fields.

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The relationship between land use & likely aquatic life

By: Clara Stunkel, Christy Schile, Breanna Creek, Steph Moxley, Cynthia May, Rachel Hayes, Alisa Fields

Our reason for doing this experiment is to find the chemical aspects of Pigeon Creek. We tested for dissolved oxygen, E. coli, ph, nitrate, and turbidity. The Chemical group tested to determine the level of pollution in the water.
how to find dissolved oxygen
How To Find Dissolved Oxygen
  • Take a 25ml sample of the creek water and break the tip off of an ampoule in a test kit.
  • Turn the ampoule upside down several times to mix the solution.
  • Wait 2 minutes and compare to the color comparator in the test kit.

Dissolved Oxygen

Typical Range for DO (dissolved oxygen) = 5.4 to 14.2 mg/L

Indiana Average = 9.8 mg/L

Our result = 10 mg/L

Dissolved oxygen refers to the amount of oxygen in water

Oxygen in water is a positive sign because it’s absence indicates water pollution.

Dissolved oxygen is affected by temperature (the warmer the water, the less oxygen it can hold.), atmospheric pressure, turbulence, photosynthesis, and amount of decaying material.

how to find e coli
How To Find E.coli
  • Place a 1ml sample of creek water in the Coliscan Easygel bottle and place in ice water.
  • Pour solution into petri dish.
  • Incubate at 35C for 24 hours.
  • Count and multiply by 100 to find out how many E. coli per 100ml.

E. Coli

Typical Range = 133-1,157 colonies/100mL

Indiana Average = 645 colonies/100mL

Our result = 14,200 colonies/100mL

E. Coli is a specific species of fecal coliform bacteria.

Some E. Coli can lead to illness . The presence of E. Coli indicates fecal contamination.

Causes : human waste from poorly functioning septic systems, pet waste, wildlife, livestock/manure runoff from fields.

how to find ph nitrate
How To Find pH & Nitrate
  • For pH put test strip in sample of water for 10 seconds. (2 seconds for Nitrate)
  • Remove strip and shake once. (Do not shake for Nitrate.)
  • Wait 20 seconds and match with the closest color on the chart.(Wait 1 minute for Nitrate.)

PH & Nitrate

Typical range for pH : 7.2 to 8.8

Indiana Average : 8.0

Our result: 8.75

Typical range for nitrate: 0-36.08 mg/L

Indiana Average: 12.32 mg/L

Our result: 2 mg/L

Nitrates are essential nutrients for plant growth.

Causes: 1. manure

2. run off from


3. sewers

how to find turbidity
How To Find Turbidity
  • Fill calibrated transparency tube with creek water.
  • Look vertically down into the tube, release water until you can barely see the X.
  • Convert to inches or centimeters.


Typical Range: 0-173 NTU’s

Indiana Average: 36 NTU’s

Our result: 58 NTU’s

Turbidity is the relative clarity of the water and is measured by shinning a light through the water column.

Causes: soil erosion, runoff, algae and organic matter

how to find b o d 5 biochemical oxygen demand 5 day
How To Find B.O.D 5(Biochemical Oxygen Demand 5 Day)
  • Fill a stoppered black light-free bottle with creek water.
  • Place in light-free location at room temperature for 5 days.
  • After 5 days, use it to perform the dissolved oxygen test with the B.O.D 5 water.
  • Determine the B.O.D 5 level by subtracting the mg/L from that of the original DO sample.

B.O.D 5

(Biochemical oxygen demand, 5 day)

Typical Range: 0-6.3 mg/L

Indiana Average: 1.5 mg/L

Our result: 0 mg/L

Biochemical Oxygen Demand is a measure of the amount of oxygen used by aerobic(oxygen consuming) bacteria as the break down organic waste over 5 days.

Causes: municipal waste water, Eutrophication and hot weather



After we figured the results of the tests, we converted the results to the Q-value. We did this using the graphs that were on the worksheets we were given at the beginning of the project to use as a guideline. This is a man made scale that was formed to make it easier to compare the measurements from all of the different tests. The Q-value gives a general idea of the condition of the creek.

  • Throughout the tests, we came to the conclusion that Pigeon Creek is medium condition.
  • On a scale from excellent being 90-100% and very bad being 0-24%, Pigeon Creek is a 57.6%.
  • The creek had a high level of E.coli.
  • Our chemical results came out being better than what we expected them to be.