Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Do your water quality thing...

Everybody wants clean water, but there are lots of things in nature, or that we do, to make perfectly clean rainwater dirty while it travels through the landscape. Geology can be a factor, but also illegal dumping of waste or overuse of fertilizers. In our area we have all of this and now its up to us in this course to investigate water quality. We do this by applying the hydrochemistry theory we got from Pieter Stuyfzand and Boris van Breukelen earlier in the programme. To study the spatial variation in water quality we sample rainwater, riverwater and groundwater. The last water type through the sampling of fontes (public water points), noras and our own piezometers. Lots of measurement and notes needed!

Mesas river group preparing for river water sampling
Valentina analyzing Mesas river water for bicarbonate and Abdi, the pH specialist of the Presa Velha river group

The mesas group today cracked their alkalinity cartridge. The ultimate question is: how do you do this??? Fortunately, there are spares...

Sometimes freshwater is also threatened by the sea, and two BSc students earth Sciences from the VU University, Evy and Leonie, joined us this week to work on a tiny island in the Ria de Aveiro.Firts a workplan has to be developped and there's no better plavce to do this then the Coza Nova Bakery in Costa Nova.
Workplan with coffee in the early morning
The study involves travelling with our old shoe to the island in the Ria, followed by long sampling sessions on the beach using a spiral auger to extract water from different depths below the surface.

BSc students Earth Sciences Evy and Leonie (right) with their equipment
Travelling with a shoe-like, camouflaged, very ugly tiny boat is part of the hydrologic experience
The outboard engine may fail any time...

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