Pollutants in NYC Waters

As mentioned in my previous post, my research is based on the pollutants found within the different bodies of water that surround New York City. In order to determine the types of pollutants found in the water, the water was physically and chemically analyzed. The members of the Billion Oyster Project, have given us access to all their sites and oyster cages around New York City. These sites include their site on Governors Island, and their sites at Battery Park, Hudson River Park, and the surrounding areas. It is from these sites that we have collected water samples and sediments.

We have been monitoring these sites weekly, and have begun taking their PH, dissolved oxygen, and conductivity reading both on site and back at the lab. The PH readings have shown us that the water is slightly basic as the PH readings are high in the 7 range. The conductivity readings have been ranging between 24,000µs/cm and 25,000µs/cm readings. This data is being compared with data found in published papers to see how polluted the water is or if the oyster beds are actually helping clean our waters. We are running chemical analysis back at the lab using the atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to help us determine what chemicals are found in the waters surrounding the city. We continue to run these tests to see how the water quality improves weekly. Hopefully we will be able to continue working on this project in the winter in order to see a change over and an improvement in the water quality over a longer period.

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