Students from Brian Spicer’s Topics of Ecology class are taking a field trip to Spring Creek to do monitor water.

Spicer’s students have been recording the water monitoring data from the last two years and have been comparing it across the years. With this data, they can determine how healthy the creek is, and create scientific questions pertaining to different parts of the creek’s healthiness. Some of these parts include the water’s pH levels, dissolved oxygen in the water, turbidity and flow rate of the water.

“We check (the data) and compare it to the past 2 years of data to see if there is any change to the health of spring creek,” Spicer said.

Potential for Hydrogen, or pH, measures the acidity of any fluid that someone decides to measure. The scale reaches from 1 to 14, 1 being the most acidic, and 14 being the most basic.. When the students go on the trip, they’ll be measuring the pH and determining whether the creek has become more acidic or more basic in recent years.

Students are also going to be measuring for levels of dissolved oxygen. Dissolved oxygen matters in a water way because the lower a water way’s dissolved oxygen level gets, the more stress is put on the life living in the water way. If it drops too low for too long, large amounts of life in that water way could die. Students are going to measure this to make sure that the level of dissolved oxygen is adequate for the creek.

Turbidity is a measure of how many solid particles that cannot dissolve are floating around in the water. You can easily judge turbidity by looking in a body of water. If the water is looking cloudy, or you can’t see through it, the water has high turbidity. This measurement can also be used to determine the healthiness of a body of water for drinking. High turbidity levels can also make bodies of water uninhabitable for aquatic life.