Research Publication Title

Nitrate Concentration in Runoff Water from the Greenway in Milledgeville, Georgia

Major

Environmental Science

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Allison Rick VandeVoort

Keywords

Electrical conductivity, erosion, eutrophication, nitrate, pH, runoff, total dissolved solids, water quality

Abstract

Eutrophication frequently results in the deterioration of water quality within aquatic environments and is usually caused by an excessive input of nutrients into the water systems via runoff. The over-use of fertilizers in agricultural practices is one of the primary sources of excess nutrients, which ultimately leads to eutrophication. Eutrophication is becoming a major issue and has numerous negative impacts on the environment. This research project investigated the nitrate concentrations in runoff from the Greenway in Milledgeville, Georgia in order to determine if eutrophication was a potential threat to nearby aquatic ecosystems. The pH, total dissolved solids (TDS), and electrical conductivity (EC) were measured in order to determine if they correlated to nitrate concentrations in the runoff. A hand-held ExTech probe was used to measure the pH, TDS, and EC. The nitrate concentration was determined using an Ion-Selective Electrode (ISE) probe. The findings of this research project were compared to those of other related scholarly studies and are discussed in terms of water quality in order to assess the present environmental condition of the studied site. Further analysis was completed in order to determine any correlations between measured parameters, potential environmental impacts resulting from nitrate concentrations in runoff, and possible solutions to any resulting detrimental impacts on the environment. There was a notable positive correlation between nitrate concentrations, TDS, and EC. As TDS, EC, and nitrate concentrations increased, the pH decreased. Out of the 3 sampled sites, site 2 varied the most in terms of pH, TDS, EC, and nitrate concentration. Site 2 had the lowest pH and the highest nitrate concentration. Based on the nitrate concentrations found in the runoff samples acquired from the Greenway, this study indicated that all the measured parameters were within an acceptable and relatively healthy range and did not exhibit any signs of eutrophication.

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Nitrate Concentration in Runoff Water from the Greenway in Milledgeville, Georgia

Eutrophication frequently results in the deterioration of water quality within aquatic environments and is usually caused by an excessive input of nutrients into the water systems via runoff. The over-use of fertilizers in agricultural practices is one of the primary sources of excess nutrients, which ultimately leads to eutrophication. Eutrophication is becoming a major issue and has numerous negative impacts on the environment. This research project investigated the nitrate concentrations in runoff from the Greenway in Milledgeville, Georgia in order to determine if eutrophication was a potential threat to nearby aquatic ecosystems. The pH, total dissolved solids (TDS), and electrical conductivity (EC) were measured in order to determine if they correlated to nitrate concentrations in the runoff. A hand-held ExTech probe was used to measure the pH, TDS, and EC. The nitrate concentration was determined using an Ion-Selective Electrode (ISE) probe. The findings of this research project were compared to those of other related scholarly studies and are discussed in terms of water quality in order to assess the present environmental condition of the studied site. Further analysis was completed in order to determine any correlations between measured parameters, potential environmental impacts resulting from nitrate concentrations in runoff, and possible solutions to any resulting detrimental impacts on the environment. There was a notable positive correlation between nitrate concentrations, TDS, and EC. As TDS, EC, and nitrate concentrations increased, the pH decreased. Out of the 3 sampled sites, site 2 varied the most in terms of pH, TDS, EC, and nitrate concentration. Site 2 had the lowest pH and the highest nitrate concentration. Based on the nitrate concentrations found in the runoff samples acquired from the Greenway, this study indicated that all the measured parameters were within an acceptable and relatively healthy range and did not exhibit any signs of eutrophication.