THE EFFECT THAT FARM RUNOFF HAS ON OUR WATER SYSTEM Michelle Ajumobi, Rebecca Williams Hope Johnson, Olivia Griffin
For years runoff has been an ignored issue in NC For many years the dilemma of runoff from farms has been ignored, until recently, when water quality in the Pasquotank area began to rapidly decrease.
THE IMPORTANCE OF WATER QUALITY Water is a pivotal aspect of human life and health to the environment. Water is essential to human life and to the health of the environment. In order for an environment to be deemed healthy, the water quality must support a community of organisms. If water quality is not maintained, the ecosystems will gradually deteriorate.
HOW WATER QUALITY IS MEASURED Biological: bacteria, algae Chemical: pH, dissolved oxygen, biological oxygen demand, nutrients (including nitrogen and phosphorus), organic and inorganic compounds (including toxicants) Physical: temperature, turbidity and clarity, color, salinity, suspended solids, dissolved solids Aesthetic: odors, taints, color, floating matter
PH LEVEL, WHATS THAT ? The pH level is a calculation of the balance of a liquid's acidity and its alkalinity. The lower a liquid's pH number, the higher its acidity; the higher the number, the more alkaline it is. Alkalinity refers to how well a water body can neutralize acids. Alkalinity measures the amount of alkaline compounds in water, such as carbonates (CO 3 2- ), bicarbonates (HCO 3 - ), and hydroxides (OH - ).
Why SHOULD WE BE CONCERNED? In the Pasquotank River Basin, water qualities are not up to standard. In fact, after measuring the waters pH it was 4.00, this is a very dangerous number for the ph level, and if drank can lead to serious side effects, even death
Can this affect anything other than human life? Yes, as a matter of fact, along with contributing to the harm of human health, this issue also can greatly affect the water quality. Which can kill off Submerged Aquatic Vegetation, which then in turns, kills off organisms that thrive on it.
But that’s not all… Along with killing off SAV, runoff from farms also can lead to the extreme thriving of algae, which steals oxygen from the water that fish need to survive on…
CAUSE OF DECLINE IN PH LEVELS What makes the ph levels so low is run off, even though the acidity in the water is also caused by other means, run off from farms seems to be the primary cause.
THIS COMES FROM FARMS? Yes, Insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides are used to kill agricultural pests. These chemicals can enter and contaminate water through runoff, and atmospheric deposition. They can poison fish and wildlife, and destroy the habitat that animals use for protective cover.
What Is Runoff?? When water from rainfall flows across the landscape, it washes soil particles, bacteria, pesticides, fertilizer, and other toxic materials into our lakes, streams, and groundwater. This is called "nonpoint source pollution" or "polluted runoff." Non point source pollution comes from a diverse number of activities in our daily lives including fertilizing lawns and farm fields, and plowing our fields for crops( note these are just some of the activities)
THESE ARE CHEMICALS FOUND IN FERTILIZER, THAT DRASTICALLY DECREASE THE REPRODUCTION AND LIVES OF SAV Iron (Fe) Lead (Pb) Manganese (Mn) Mercury (Hg) Molybdenum (Mo) Nickel (Ni) Selenium (Se) Silver (Ag) Thallium (Tl) Vanadium (V) Uranium (U) Zinc (Zn) Aluminum (Al) Antimony (Sb) Arsenic (As) Barium (Ba) Berylium (Be) Boron (B) Cadmium (Cd) Chromium (Cr) Cobalt (Co) Copper (Cu)
SO WHY DO I CARE ABOUT THIS AGAIN ? SAV supplies food and shelter for diverse communities of waterfowl, fish and shellfish. It produces oxygen and absorbs nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus It filters and traps sediment, which pollute the water.
YOU CAN HELP DECREASE RUN OFF….. By using non-toxic substitutes wherever possible Promote environmental education. Get your community groups involved. Plant more land vegetation by the waters edge to help reduce the amount of runoff that goes into the water Buy chemicals only in the amount you expect to use, and apply them only as directed. More is not better.
SEE WHAT YOU KNOW.. In the Pasquotank River Basin, water qualities are …….up to standard? TOTALLY NOT POSSIBLY
Without the livelihood of SAV, marine animals ……thrive in their ecosystems WILL WON’T