Purpose: Water is an essential element that all living organisms need to survive. Since water is a universal solvent many ions such as, calcium, chloride, and nitrates can be found in water supplies. A universal solvent is defined as “a substance that dissolves most chemicals”(Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.) . Water is classified as a universal solvent due to its polar nature giving each molecule a hydrophobic and hydrophilic side, this allows water to separate molecules into ions. The researchers conducted experiments from four different water samples to determine ion concentrations. At four different locations, three water samples were tested and data was collected for 16 different water quality tests. The researchers conducted water quality tests to determine the overall water quality of populated and unpopulated areas in Arizona. Water quality is important to study due to the possible detrimental effects on humans, animals, and plants. Without water, no living organism would be able to survive, and while most water utilized by humans is treated, there is still the possibility of accessing water that is untreated. Untreated and possibly contaminated water flows from stream to stream flowing through many communities which could reach thousands of people. Consumption harm can come to the plants, animals and humans who have ingested the tainted liquid.
The four different locations the researchers tested at had different vegetation, wildlife, and geography. The first location tested was the boat docking area area of Lake Mary, which is located 12 miles southeast of Flagstaff with an elevation of ?6,895 ft. . Lake Mary has a depth of 38 feet and has a surface area of 450 acres. The average temperature recorded by The National Weather Service in May is, a high of 23? and a low of 3?. Figure 1.1(Lake Mary Testing Site)
There is not an abundance of vegetation near where water samples were taken, but rather on the banks opposite of testing site as seen in Figure 1.1. This is a public swimming area, as well as a boat loading and unloading site for recreation and fishing.
The second location tested was at the Lake Powell Swimming area. This is located in Page, Az, which is 135 miles from Flagstaff, Az and at 3652 feet in elevation. Lake Powell has an area of 254.1 miles2 and has a maximum depth of 585 feet. The National Weather Service recorded the average high and low during May as 25? and 12?.There is very little vegetation in this area, Figure 1.2(Lake Powell Swimming Area)
there is mainly rock and sand surrounding the water testing sites shown in Figure 1.2 and 1.3. Located on the rocks, there is an abundance of Quagga mussels, an invasive species, “indigenous to the Dnieper River drainage of Ukraine and Ponto-Caspian Sea”(USGS). As stated in in the name of location the Lake Powell swimming area is a popular swimming location, as well as fishing spot. Many families come to picnic, fish and swim in the warm weather of spring and summer, so this may contribute to elevated levels of ions.
The third location tested at was the Lake Powell Marina. Also located in Page, Az