Talks of Water Quality at Noon Rotary

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ZANESVILLE, Ohio – A guest speaker at the Noon Rotary Club meeting on Tuesday, April 9th discussed environmental research and water quality.

Ohio University Zanesville Chemistry Professor Dr. Shadi Abu-Baker presented research that they did on the Muskingum River and Dillion Lake. He said the main purpose of this kind of research is to monitor the nitrate, phosphate and ammonia levels.

“The reason why we do that is because if we have high or elevated nitrate, phosphate or ammonia level, this has consequences,” Dr. Abu-Baker said. “For example, nitrate, if it goes up during runoff water when we put fertilizers, it will do two major risks.”

The two major risks for high levels are for pregnant women, they can not swim in the affected water or drink it because it can cause blueberry syndrome and the affected water can also cause algae blooms. Undergrad Researcher Joshua Doudna said he got to help Dr. Abu-Baker with this research.

“I learned more about algae than I ever thought that I would. It’s made me more aware of the environment. I’m involved with a group on campus now that is all about the environment and everything. I’ve learned the nitty-gritty of identifying algae and I’ve learned an appreciation for our local resources,” Doudna said.

The testing process involved them taking multiple samples from Muskingum River and Dillion Lake and then measuring the levels in their lab. They used a kit that changes the color and that color will tell the levels and then there is a probe with a screen that provides the levels, both were consistent with each other.

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