Keeping Things Fresh! Minimizing Decomposers to Maximize Water Health

Zachary Morrison, Greg Mulholland, Chathurika Henpita


This particular experiment was conducted in order to study the relationship between the presence of decomposers and the level of dissolved oxygen. Polluted water sources are composed of certain aspects that can affect how much oxygen is dissolved within the source of water. In order to analyze these aspects, we aim to tackle the research question, “What possible components of the sewage effluent could be affecting the dissolved oxygen?” (French 2014). A previous study in relation to this research question has been conducted, but only discovered a pattern in the concentrations of dissolved oxygen, rather than an actual causation to these specific levels of dissolved oxygen. An additional prior study suggested that the magnitude of damage caused to water resources with disposal of untreated sewage can be judged from the fact that about 70 percent of rivers and streams [in India] contain polluted water. (Dubey and Yadav 2010). Things like this made us look at this question and try to figure out why. The question at hand can be answered through a method of which analyzes oxygen levels within a polluted solution that acts as a polluted water source, as well as oxygen levels in the source once certain decomposers are added. Usage of an oxygen probe in both solutions for a certain time interval will assist us in gathering the data needed to adequately propose an answer to the research question. We discovered that a higher concentration of decomposers did indeed act as causation to lower levels of dissolved oxygen. The implications made from the results can potentially have a key impact in revealing which factors majorly affect water clarity, such as decomposer presence, therefore indicating how water sources around the world can be made healthier.

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