2013 Stream Chemistry

STREAM CHEMISTRY: New Hope Creek, Gate 26 Duke Forest, 24 July 2013 by John Kish

Today, we went to New Hope Creek to perform a variety of chemical tests. The results of these tests are used to assess the health of the stream, and where improvements can be made. These results are one of three data sets from today.


Date: July 24, 2013

Location: Whitfield Rd. Gate 26

Weather in the past 24 hours: Overcast

Weather now: Clear/Sunny

Water Odors: Normal

Water Color/Appearance: Brown/muddy and Foam/Suds

Algae: Covers substrate


Actual reading Observed

Adjustments to reading

Sample Result

Levels safe for Aquatic Life





6.5 – 9

HIGH RANGE (1-20 mg/L): Dissolved Oxygen (Hach OX-2P)

6 drops



≥ 5 mg/L

Nitrate (Hach NI-14)


Multiply the reading by 10 to obtain the mg/L nitrate nitrogen present in sample


≥ 22 mg/L

Phosphate (Hach PO-29)


Divide the results in the scale window by three to obtain mg/L of P

4/3 or 1.333

Less than 0.05 mg/L

LOW RANGE: 0-100 mg/L Chloride (Hach 8-P)


Multiply the number of drops by five to obtain mg/L of Cl present in the sample


Less than 0.01 mg/L











In conclusion, the levels of Phosphate and Chloride are higher than is safe for life. A candidate for the increased levels of Chlorine in the water is increased run off or dumping of treated water into the stream. The higher than normal phosphate levels could be due in part to sediment in the stream from recent rain storms.


STREAM CHEMISTRY: New Hope Creek, Gate 26 Duke Forest, 24 July 2013 by Marie Boudreau

Today the Environmental Science Summer Program at Duke went to New Hope Creek in order to test the water quality of the creek. While the weather yesterday was overcast the weather today was clear and sunny. The water was brown and muddy similar to yester day ( 7/23/12), but contained more suds and foam today. PH of the creek was measured to be at around 6. Then the group measured the high range dissolved oxygen levels in the water was 7 which is considered a safe amount for aquatic life. Phosphate was measured in the creek. The level of Phosphate in the creek was found to be at 0 mg/L. This level of Phosphate is also within the  range of levels safe for aquatic life. Lastly, the levels of Chloride were tested. The level of Chloride in the water were at 25 mg/L. This level is way above the recommended 0.01 mg/L which has been deemed safe for aquatic life. Resons for ingreased levels of Chloride in the water could result from waster water of local pools being flushed to the creek.


STREAM CHEMISTRY: New Hope Creek, Gate 26 Duke Forest, 17 July 2013 by Femi Villamoor

pH: 6.75

Dissolved Oxygen (High Range Test): 3 mg/L

Nitrate (Low Range Test): 4 mg/L

Phosphate (Low Range Test): 0.267 mg/L

Chloride (Low Range Test): 20 mg/L

STREAM CHEMISTRY: New Hope Creek, Gate 26 Duke Forest, 10 July 2013

Stream Chemistry Site Observations and Procedures (Jean Marie Dubnansky and Leland)

The New Hope Creek was tested for its levels of pH, dissolved oxygen, nitrate, phosphate and chloride. Originally the water was approached using the low range dissolved oxygen test which led to unsuccessful results. In response the water was tested on the high range dissolved oxygen test resulting in more acceptable findings. The chloride test was then carried out. It presented the data shown below. The need to take the same test twice unfortunately took up more time then intended, preventing all the tests to be performed by all groups. Therefore, information was shared among the different groups to compensate for lost time.