Value of Water for Human
Value of Water for Human

Value of Water for Human

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  • Pages: 3 (1097 words)
  • Published: November 23, 2021
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Water is a naturally occurring and the most abundant inorganic substance that occupies about 71% of the entire world. This substance is essential in the life of all living things. People do conduct water studies for various reasons. This case will analyze the survey of the water of Chopawamsic Creek. The survey aims at testing the water quality of the Chopawamsic Creek so as to rate the level of contamination of the water that gets into Breckenridge Reservoir which is a major fishing site. The sites for the survey are the points on the North Branch Chopawamsic and the Middle Chopawamsic a short distance from the convergence point on the up-streams. The first point is on the North Branch Chopawamsic and the second one is on the Middle Branch Chopawamsic. These points are selected in order to allow for efficient use of the resources available. These points are likely to identify the major source of water contamination that is characteristically evident in the Breckenridge reservoir. It is notable that Chopawamsic, particularly the north branch passes through the Backcountry area in Prince William Forest Park which is a potential suspect for water contamination.


A wide variety of methods were employed in the course of determining the quality of the water. These included laboratory, field and analytical methods. These methods were used to determine the quality of water based on various parameters. The first one was phy


sical testing. This was assessed from two observable characteristics which are temperature and turbidity. Turbidity tries to rate the level of cloudiness of water while temperature assesses the degree of hotness in the water in relation to the environment (Gonzalez et al, 2009). Chemical testing was also done. In this, two distinct tests namely dissolved oxygen test and pH test were carried out. Dissolved oxygen test was meant to measure the level of availability of Oxygen in the water while pH test tries to identify the acidity or alkalinity of water.

The last parameter was biological testing which was done through macro-invertebrate and fecal coliform bacteria tests. Fecal coliform bacteria test tries to identify the prevalence of microbiological natural water contaminants that are found in the digestive system of warm blooded animals and is passed out together with feces hence the name. On the other side, macro-invertebrates test tries to identify the existence of some large organisms that live in water under different conditions especially on matters of contamination (National Research Council, 2012). Notably, some macro organisms can survive well even in contaminated water while others cannot tolerate contamination, Macro-invertebrates is the source that was used to assign pollution tolerance or sensitivity, and hence used to calculate biotic index.


In order to rate the quality of Chopawamsic water, the macro invertebrates were given a rate. The highly sensitive organisms were given a mark of 3, the somehow sensitive organisms amark of 2 and the tolerant organisms were given 1. The mark given for the available macroinvertebrates was then multiplied by the number of organisms found so as to get the total score/index (National Research Council, 2012).


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addition to the findings above, water in this site was relatively cloudy and the temperature was comparatively high. With dissolved oxygen level of 4.6mg/L and a pH of 6.57, the water is notably alkaline. However, the prevalence of fecal coliform bacteria in the biological testing is worrying.

In this site, the physical testing indicates that the water had a lower temperature compared to the first site and was clearer. The acidity level is slightly higher and the dissolved oxygen was also higher. The prevalence of fecal coliform bacteria was very low compared to that of first site. Notably, most of the macro-invertebrates were organisms that are highly sensitive to contamination, meaning that the water is not highly contaminated.


The analysis of water in Chopawamsic Creek communicates volumes. The temperature in both sites was higher than normal. A temperature of above twenty degrees Celsius gives room for development of many fish diseases. With these high temperatures the growth of plants is faster and so is the death rate. This implies that a lot of oxygen is used for decomposition and this could be the reason for the low level of Oxygen in the two sites. Under normal circumstances a pH of 7.4 is considered good (Ebrary, 2002). With this it is notable that the water of Chopawamsic creek is below the recommended levels in terms of the potential of hydrogen ion.
The results for the turbidity test indicate that the water is relatively clear, the rate of 5.5Nephelometer Turbidity Units in the first site and 3.5NTU in the second site indicate that physical impurities are minimal (Gonzalez et al, 2009).

The alarming issue, that greatly threatens the quality of water in Chopawamsic, is the level of Fecal Coliform Bacteria. Site one appears to be more affected, with an average of 400 colonies in every 100ml of water. The second site has an average of 150 colonies for a similar volume. Since the first site is along the Northern Branch Chopawamsic Creek, this clearly indicates that most of the contamination comes from Prince William forest park. The macro-invertebrate rating was also in support of this finding. With a total water quality index of 127, the water is more impure than that of Central Branch Chopawamsic Creek which had a rate of 133, meaning the water quality was higher.

Management recommendation

It is clear that the quality of the water in Chopawamsic Creek is relatively low. The invisible impurities form the largest contaminant. These impurities which mostly appear on the Northern Branch Chopawamsic Creek enter the river from the park where warm blooded animals are reserved. If the water contamination has to be dealt with, then stringent rules on the management of animals to avoid interfering with river water need to be put in place. This can be done through enhancing waste management and ensuring the animals live a reasonable distance from the river (Board, 1900). Most importantly draining any form of waste into the river should be controlled or even eliminated. Otherwise the quality of water will remain low as it is or even lower.


  • Gonzalez, D. C., Greenwood, D. R., & Quevauviller, P. P.
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