Initial Water Quality Data Evaluation of Stream X

Description: In this assignment you will analyze a set of data for a stream in a local watershed.The data represent sampling from 2012 from Stream X and includes information from four locations along the stream.Stream X is part of City Anywhere’s Phase II water quality sampling program.City Anywhere has land uses that range from urban to rural.Your job, as a scientist in the water quality branch of the Kentucky Department of Environment, is to evaluate the annual water quality data for the City of Anywhere.Your evaluation should assess the basic trends in the data, compare the results to the Kentucky surface water standards, and specify if the streams meets these standards.From the data, you should also make note of changes in water quality that occur along the stream..It has been rumored, by a local environmental activist, that a point source discharge is causing fish kills.Your job is to objectively evaluate the data.For this assignment you will need to answer the following questions or include the required analysis in your assessment.Please complete all assignments as a Word document.Of course, you may use any software to describe the data and provide graphs and tables.If you have questions, please arrange an appointment with Dr. Taylor either in his office or online through Skype.

Learning Objectives: Students will:

  • Evaluate water quality data to assess attainment with standards.
  • Develop a written summary of the data analysis performed.
  • Analyze water quality data.
  • Apply data analysis tools to complete the evaluation.

Assessment Components:

  • First, make sure you have reviewed the Kentucky Surface Water Standards including Definitions.Please note any questions you may have regarding this information.We will discuss your questions during the next class meeting.
  • Reflect on the data, what are your thoughts about how and when the water quality data were collected?
  • Summarize each parameter in a graph or a series of graphs.Do you observe any trends?
  • Provide descriptive statistics for each parameter.You may want to divide the data by sampling site or stratify the data in the most meaningful way.You are the scientist; you decide how best to do this.Remember, descriptive statistics include parameters such as the mean, median, minimum, maximum, and standard deviation. You may do these calculations by hand, with Excel, or using statistical software.
  • Now that you have some results, provide at least one written page describing your data analysis.Discuss the results and describe your findings.
  • Compare the data to the Kentucky Surface Water Standards.What are the results of this comparative analysis? What other monitoring is needed to better assess attainment of the regulations?
  • Next, reflect on the limitations of the water quality data for Stream X.What else would you like to know about the watershed and why? What other information or data do you need?
  • Now, describe what you think is happening in the stream based on this limited set of data.What sources of pollution do you suspect and where do you think, in general, these sources are located, such as upstream or downstream from a sampling point?