Water Quality of Stoney Creek and its Effects on Salmon Spawning

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No, item is not peer reviewed.
Scholarly level: 
Undergraduate student
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Stoney Creek restoration
Ecological restoration
Runoff water
Water quality
Salmon spawning
Water acidity
Water composition

Runoff water in urban streams possesses a major threat in salmon spawning. This has been the effect on Burnaby BC's, Stoney Creek. Sample water was retrieved at four sites, with two along Stoney Creek (sites 1 and 4) and two tributaries further upstream (sites 2 and 3). To begin our research we had formulated the hypothesis that tributaries would have lower dissolved oxygen content due to no remediation efforts being applied and downstream sample sites would have higher levels of pollutants due to road runoff accumulation. Multiple means in determining water quality of Stoney Creek were employed; in-stream water quality tests for dissolved oxygen (DO), pH, and temperature were determined using a DO, and pocket pH meter. Water samples were also obtained from each site and were further analyzed for phosphorous, ammonium and chemical oxygen demand levels (COD) using the Hach DR5000 spectrophotometer. Our last means of water quality testing was through the Water Quality TestKit on samples brought from site 1 and 3. In-stream testing resulted in pH levels ranging between 6.4 and 6.7, dissolved oxygen contents of 10.60mg/L and greater, and temperatures of 9.2°C and below. Accordingly, levels in pH, DO and temperature measured are all suitable for salmon spawning. Samples further tested in the lab showed higher ammonium, and phosphate levels that can effect spawning negatively. Lastly the Water Quality TestKit did not demonstrate very good accuracy, and was ruled to be unreliable. Our results indicate that Stoney Creek's conditions are favorable for salmon spawning, and that there is a strong correlation between temperature, pH and dissolved oxygen.

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