The project involved gathering background information, and conducting chemical testing, physical testing, biological sampling, and analysis of results.
3.1 Background Information
A considerable amount of background information was required in order to complete the project. Methods for researching different aspects of the North Campus pond included internet searches, library resources, as well as the numerous books that are neatly organized in the ecology lab. However, some information had to be collected through various contacts within the Waterloo community. The following are a list of the various contacts we used and the information they provided:
-Provided general information on the pond
-Directed us to other contacts
-Provided North Campus pond location
-Provided copy of Dana Couture's BIOL 499 Thesis
-Provided recommendations on the pond (ie. Suggestions for bank erosion, elimination of carp population, and possible vegetation surrounding the pond to be planted).
-Provided important information on historical uses of the field (over the last ten years)
-Identified the various fertilizers and pesticides he has used in the past, and is currently using.
-Explained the drainage patterns of the field, and located the storm drain which empties into the pond.
-Allowed access to the field for the testing of his drain
-Supplied information on the proposed extension of Westmount Rd.
-Supplied background information on carp populations and exterminations
-Suggested useful literature on this subject
3.2 Chemical Tests
Professor Hamish Duthie recommended that a pesticide analysis be conducted on the North Campus Pond. His concerns stemmed from the history of the pond and more specifically the farming practices of the adjacent field over the years. After a consultation with Oscar Martin on the pesticides he uses, and after a discussion with Patti Cook regarding funding for tests, two particular chemicals were chosen for analysis. The chemicals tested for were atrazine and metolachlor which make up the pesticide commercially referred to as Prime Extra. The tests were conducted by Canviro Analytical Laboratories.
Atrazine is a pre-emergence or post-emergence herbicide that is used to control some broadleaf weeds and grasses in corn and soybean fields. Rates of loss of this chemical in water are low, and are primarily a function of dilution, transport, and biological metabolism (USDA, 1993).
Metolachlor is an odorless liquid applied as an emulsion on crops. It is a pre-emergence herbicide that controls most annual grasses and many weeds in a variety of crops including corn and soybeans (USDA, 1993).
3.2.2 Other Chemical Tests
Testing for pH, phosphorous, nitrogen, and chloride was conducted by the methods outlined in the Field Manual for Water Quality Monitoring (Mitchell and Stapp, 1993). These tests were conducted to satisfy the requirements for the Mitchell and Stapp Water Quality Index calculations discussed later in the report.
3.3 Physical Tests
The following tests were also conducted to satisfy the requirements for the Mitchell and Stapp Water Quality Index:
3.3.1 Dissolved Oxygen (D.O.)
D.O. was measured with a dissolved oxygen meter provided by the Ecology Lab. Temperature was also determined through this meter. The methods used to work with the meter are outlined in the Field Manual for Water Quality Monitoring (Mitchell and Stapp, 1993).
Turbidity was tested using the methods outlined in the Field Manual for Water Quality Monitoring (Mitchell and Stapp, 1993).
3.4 Biological Tests:
The carp in the North Campus pond were spotted and photographed for the first time by our group on June 29, 1998 following six prior visits to the pond. An attempt was made to catch a specimen using a hand held net, a conventional fishing pole with real and artificial bait.
After a discussion with Professor Duthie about the carp, we learned that the Biology Department was proposing to have the entire carp population removed preferably using the chemical toxicant rotenone (Duthie, 1998). Investigations were made into the effects of using rotenone on the pond and other possible methods of removing the carp, which are discussed in the results.
The invertebrates were collected from the pond using the methods outlined in the Field Manual for Water Quality Monitoring (Mitchell and Stapp, 1993). A qualitative sample of benthic invertebrates was collected from the North Campus pond on July 14, 1998. Qualitative samples are conducted by collecting one or two of each family type of benthic invertebrate, represented in the sampling area. This is done by using common kitchen sieves. The sieves are randomly dug into the banks of the pond, and the invertebrates are removed from the substrate in the sieve. The organisms are placed into containers filled with formalin, a substance used to ensure the organism is dead before identification. Identification was done using microscopes and invertebrate manuals from the Ecology Lab.
The invertebrates were categorized into the Marcoinvertebrate Taxa Group Chart found in Field Manual for Water Quality Monitoring (Mitchell and Stapp, 1993). This chart groups invertebrates according to their habitats. There are three groupings which are indicative of good water quality, fair water quality, and poor water quality (Mitchell and Stapp, 1993).
3.4.3 Vegetation Identification
Species of plants growing within 3m of the pond were identified on two different occasions. Initially, several plants were identified on site with the help of Larry Lamb. Later, samples of unknown plants were collected in plastic bags and brought back to the ecology lab where they were stored in the refrigerator. These were identified shortly afterwards using various vegetation identification manuals.
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