October Public Library Teen Event: A Water Pollution Mystery!

On Wednesday, EcoReach visited the Athens-Clarke County Public Library to hold an event as part of our monthly series for teens. This month’s event was based around a water pollution mystery!
We began the event by discussing fish kills and water quality problems that might cause fish kills. A fish kill refers to a massive die-off event of fish in freshwater or saltwater environments. After this initial discussion, we then proposed a hypothetical “fish kill” in Athens. Students were asked to visit 5 stations, each run by an EcoReach volunteer, to test water samples from before and after the fish kill. Over the 5 stations, students measured a variety of water quality parameters, including pH, turbidity, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, fecal coliform counts, algal biomass, and macroinvertebrate species richness.
After the students visited all of the stations, we came back together to use the clues from each station to determine what was the cause of our fish kill. In our hypothetical situation, pet waste was the cause of our fish kill. We then had a discussion about how pet waste is an actual problem in Athens, and what we can do to stop this poo-llution!
Check out some pictures from the event below! If you are interested in our library series, please contact us!
Kelsey leading a discussion on fish kills and what might cause them
Nate at the fecal coliform count station. Do you know where your pet’s waste is going?
Margot at the macroinvertebrate station. Can you name any macroinvertebrates (aquatic insects) found in Athens? Learn about Georgia’s macroinvertebrates here!
Katherine teaching the teens everything about pH measurements! Do you know what pH levels are necessary for healthy streams? Learn more about pH here!
Dan at the conductivity station! Conductivity is a measurement of the ability of an aqueous solution to carry an electrical current. Why would this be important for fish and other aquatic organisms? Learn more about conductivity here!

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