Monitoring the Water at the Blanca Vista Ponds
Member and Adams State Chemistry Professor Dr. Frank Novotny reports that two preliminary studies to monitor the pH, dissolved oxygen (D.O.), and temperature of the water at the Blanca Vista Ponds began in July with the generous support from the UWYCO grant. While the intent was to start much earlier in the year, there were unanticipated complications caused by COVID-19 that resulted in challenges and delays. Happily, two students, one from South Fork and the other from San Luis, were interested and willing to persevere through the challenges. For the first study, sample sites on the south/southeast side of the pond near shore were chosen, and the water was tested at these locations over the course of 6 weeks and then compared to see if any of the parameters changed. The second study investigated the water at given locations of the pond, again on the south side, over the course of a single day to see how the parameters varied throughout the course of the day (and one evening). Replicate readings were taken at each sample location, for each parameter, each time the water was sampled.In looking at the data, there was no clear trend in the data for any of the parameters. This could be because of the short duration of the study. Currently, the intent is to modify and continue the study this fall and into winter but we are waiting for the funding to come through. Once approved, we will continue the study from this summer. If possible, we would like to expand the study to sample the water away from the shore and at different depths of the water column. We will look at doing this from a two-person boat or raft until the pond freezes. Once the ice is safe enough to walk on, we will drill holes in the ice and continue the testing.