South Africa
Monitoring the Umgeni River water quality
Posted by Howick High School, South Africa on 15 March 2017
Post related to MiniSass

We went down to the Umgeni River to find out the quality of the water. To do this we had to do conduct various tests, and a miniSASS of the current invertebrates living in the river.

At the first sight we found: snails, bug beetles, dragonflies, minnow mayflies, crabs and shrimp, resulting in a very poor average total of 5,2. As a result of our experiments we found that the water temperature was 28 degrees Celsius. The dissolved oxygen was 2ppm. the pH level was 8. Phosphate levels were 0,05. Nitrate level were inconclusive as the tester was expired. It is safe to say that the quality of water is not up to standard. Some reasons for this could have been: * it had recently rained and thus the water was very turbulent. * fertilizers could have been washed into the river from the neighboring farms * the water level was very low and the river was barely flowing at this point When we did the same tests higher upstream, the result was better. The miniSASS score was fairly good. This could have been due to less fertilizers, higher water level and more oxygen in the water due to it flowing faster. We plan to repeat this exercise throughout the year to monitor the changes in the quality of the water of the Umgeni River close to our school. 


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