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An

Internal Assessment Project


Presented to
The Manning’s School
Science Department
In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for
Certification in the

Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations


(CAPE)
In

Environmental Science

Submitted by: Shanique Allen

Teacher: Mr. Callam

Territory: Jamaica

Registration #: 100068______

Year: 2017
TITLE
An assessment into waste water pollution on the
compound of Mannings School in Savanna-la-mar due to
effluent discharge and surface run-off.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Acknowledgement……………………………………………………………..4

Problem Statement & Purpose of Study ………………………………………5

Introduction…………………………………………………………………….6

Methodology (Methods of data collection)……………………………………...7

Literature Review………………………………………………………………..8-11

Presentation of Data……………………………………………………………..12-16

Analysis of Data………………………………………………………………….17-18

Discussion of Findings……………………………………………………………19-20

Conclusion………………………………………………………………………….21

Recommendations………………………………………………………………….22

Bibliography…………………………………………………………………………23

Appendix……………………………………………………………………….........24-39

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
I would like to express profound gratitude to all the people who helped and supported me
during the research and completion of this Environmental Studies School research project.

My deepest thanks to my parents for supporting me and providing me with the necessary
materials needed to complete this assignment. .

Sincere gratefulness is also due to my teacher, Mr. Callam who has counseled me in the subject
as well as taking the time to review this document.

And finally, I would like to thank the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) for accepting this
report as a percentage of the grade towards achieving a CXC qualification.

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Problem Statement
The problem statement as follows reads: There are many sections on the Mannings School
compound where waste water can be found; it is thought to contain pollutants which were
contributed by various sources.

These sources include:

 The overflow of the sewer system at Block B and other parts of the school
 Water discharge from the commercial centre adjacent to the school
These two sources may contribute a great deal to the amount of pollutants found in
surface water. In extreme cases, this leads to illness of the students and teachers who are
currently situated at the Manning’s School.

Purpose of the Study

This study is important because it has become apparent that when members of the Manning’s
School community come in contact with waste water, it often results in them catching a form of
virus. We are deeply concerned about the health of the students and teachers since they are
exposed to raw sewage water because the environment is open. This study seeks to investigate
the extent to which the surface water found on the compound contains various pollutants. It is
important because the health of the faculty and students is a top priority and we want to ensure
that the environment they spend most of their time in is safe. Waste water pollution is very
imperative and if it is not handled properly then it can have fatal effects on life forms. A number
of measures can be put in place to limit waste water pollution as well as to alleviate the problems
that come along with it. Floating and suspended solids can be settled and removed from sewage,
the bacteria in sewage can then be used to further purify the sewage; this removes 85 percent or
more of the organic matter in sewage compared with primary treatment, which removes about 50
percent. In this study a series of test using different parameters are conducted to deduce the
amount of each parameter contained in the surface water. This study will benefit the
administration as if there is an excess of pollutants, waste water can be controlled before anyone
else gets sick from contact. This study may also give the reader insight on the types of factors
which lead to pollution and what they can do to prevent it or alleviate the problem altogether.
The research hypothesis states: The surface water on the Manning’s School compound is far
more saline, acidic and polluted than surface water that do not contain effluent discharge.

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INTRODUCTION
In order for the water to be safe to be in contact with it must meet certain requirements
and each parameter that is tested must be below a given threshold limit. By measuring the
amounts of each parameter present in the water sample an indication of the extent of pollutants in
the sample can be made.

Various tests were conducted in order to deduce the extent of pollution of the surface
water samples, these include measuring the amounts of Total Nitrogen, Faecal Coliform present
and determining the pH and Biological Oxygen Demand of the samples. By testing these
parameters, the extent of pollution in surface water can be determined. There may be other
sources which enter the school compound and may contribute to the high levels of each
parameter in the water sample. Also, due to the large volume of rainfall experienced over the
past weeks, it may have increased surface run-off from other sources which cause the water to be
more concentrated. These results will be compared to those from a restaurant in downtown Sav
called Tan Tan Pastry.

This research will aid in the deduction of various recommendations and interpretations
which will help to reduce the waste water pollution on the Manning’s School compound.

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METHODOLOGY
Methods of Data Collection

This study measures, by means of hands on lab exercises and site visits, the extent to
which effluent discharge and surface run-off lead to waste water pollution on the Manning’s
School compound. It is a quantitative learning research that tests the overall quality of the
surface water by way of practically testing different parameters (BOD, pH, Faecal coliform, and
Total Nitrogen). The researcher conducted the tests for each of the four parameters, they were
however given the results from the experiment done downtown at the Tan Tan Restaurant by a
member of the Health Inspection Unit. A quantitative approach was taken because the
experimenter believes it is most accurate to obtain information about the pollution of waster
water by observing and analyzing the changes in the different parameters over a four (4) week
period.

The main type of method used was the primary method where the source of data
collection used included the field research method. This included four site visits which were
done for four consecutive weeks. During these sites visits, each week a different parameter was
tested using the appropriate apparatus, it was also ensured that the surroundings were observed
and noted. Each time a sample of the water was extracted and the experimenter in order to
determine the various pollutants and the amount of nutrient content that was present. A
secondary method was used and this was the results that were presented to the experimenter by a
member of the Health Inspection Unit. This was used to compare the readings of the four
parameters between the Mannings School and Tan Tan Restaurant and the differences were
interpreted and analysed. Also, information was retrieved from various organizations such as the
National Water Commission and National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) along
with information from books, articles and websites.

The data was analysed manually since the research was done on a small scale and
the data collected could be quickly and easily carried out. The results were tabulated based on
the different site visits carried out.

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LITERATURE REVIEW
Waste water is defined as spent or used water with dissolved or suspended solids,
discharged from homes, commercial establishments, farms, and industries.
(BusinessDictionary.com, 2008)

Water pollution can be defined as the introduction by man, directly or indirectly, of substances or
energy into the marine environment (including estuaries) resulting in such deleterious effects as
harm to living resources, hazards to human health, hindrance to marine activities, including
fishing, impairment of quality for use of sea water and reduction of amenities.(United Nations,
1969).

According to the Jamaican Observer, waste water is the fancy term applied to water that is
contaminated by human activity such as bathing, dishwashing, doing laundry, fertilising crops,
and flushing the toilet. The contaminants include soaps and detergents, cooking oils, pesticides,
paint, gasoline, seawater, pharmaceuticals, solid waste and, of course, human waste (faeces and
urine along with used toilet paper and wipes). In its strictest sense, the term seweage refers to the
subset of wastewater that includes faeces and urine. It can, however, be used to mean wastewater
in the broad sense. Sewerage is the system of pipes, pumps and other physical infrastructure that
conveys wastewater/sewage from the point at which it is created to the point where it is treated
or disposed. It is said that:

* Globally, two million tonnes of sewage, industrial and agricultural waste is discharged into the
world's waterways.

* As much as 90 per cent of wastewater currently entering the Caribbean Sea is either untreated
or not efficiently treated

* 51.5 per cent of households across the Caribbean region lack sewer connections.

* Only 17 per cent of households in the Caribbean are connected to acceptable collection and
treatment systems.

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* In the Caribbean, less than two per cent of urban sewage is treated before disposal and this is
even lower in rural communities.

* On some Caribbean islands there are no sewerage systems; sewage is disposed mainly through
septic tanks and pit latrines, many of which are not adequate. (Jamaican Observer, 2013)

Trade effluent, sewage effluent and irrigation water standards have been established for most of
the pollutants found in trade effluent and discharges from sewage treatment plants. These
pollutants include:

 Nutrients (nitrogen [e.g. as nitrate, ammonia] and phosphorus) that can lead to nutrients
(nitrogen (e.g., as nitrate and ammonia) and phosphorus in its various forms) that can
lead to eutrophication of surface and ground waters; As highlighted by the Environmental
Protection Agency, Unites States, soils are also at risk of eutrophication in cases where
excessive nutrients deplete oxygen in the soil. The result is that the natural micro-
organisms cannot function properly and soil fertility is affected.
 Physical parameters (temperature, colour, conductivity, total suspended solids) that
compromise water quality;
 Oxygen consuming pollutants [BOD and Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD)]
 Organic pollutants that have adverse ecological and human health effects
 Heavy metals that are toxic to plant and animal life as well as human health (Zn, Pb, Cd,
As, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Se, Ag, Sn)
 Biological agents (coliform, Escherichia-coli) that have adverse human health effects
 Other pollutants that have adverse effects on human health and well-being if they reach
waters that are used for recreation - or for drinking water supply (chloride, sulphate, Na,
Be, B, Ca, Ba, CN, Fe, Mn, Mg, colour, pH, detergents).

(National Environment Planning Agency, 2013)

The basic challenge, according to the thematic paper posted on the web, lies in the fact that
demographic change and economic growth contribute to water being increasingly withdrawn,
used, reused, treated, and disposed of. Urbanisation, agriculture, industry and climate change
exert mounting pressure on both the quantity and quality of water resources. The reason: many

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human activities that produce a good also generate pollutants. In fact, every human may be seen
as a source of pollutants. These pollutants often find their way into sinks such as reservoirs,
wetlands and aquifers. (Jamaican Observer, August 2010)

An important point in confronting the challenge of water pollution is that to realize that water is
a solvent and transport mechanism continuously moving through the landscape. Human
modifications of water systems and changes in land use have significant effects on surface and
groundwater quality, which in turn has negative effects on human and ecosystem health. In the
absence of this awareness, there is often a disconnect for people that pollute and the effects of
that pollution on people and ecosystems downstream or in other parts of shared lakes and
aquifers. "The flow perspective can therefore shed light on the creeping and often invisible
nature of water pollution," states the paper. It is also vital to realize that accumulation of
pollutants over time in the natural sinks in the landscape can have considerable long-term
impacts on human and ecosystem health. Groundwater systems are especially vulnerable to
pollution, as they are often difficult and costly to remediate. Some pollutants can occur in high
concentrations even though the water can appear clean and safe. (Jamaican Observer, August
2010)

Wastewater is treated to remove pollutants (contaminants). Wastewater treatment is a process to


improve and purify the water, removing some or all of the contaminants, making it fit for reuse
or discharge back to the environment. Discharge may be to surface water, such as rivers or the
ocean, or to groundwater that lies beneath the land surface of the earth. Properly treating
wastewater assures that acceptable overall water quality is maintained. (PollutionIssues.com)

The Jamaican Gleaner says that in order to combat Waste Water Pollution “UNCLOS calls for
countries to adopt laws and regulations to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine
environment from land-based sources while the GPA highlights the need for action to reduce the
pollutant load to the seas from land-based sources and activities. Meanwhile, to combat the
pollution and associated challenges, the study also identifies the need to:
-conduct proper planning to guarantee the timely delivery of interventions in the sector,
“especially to identify and share responsibilities among stakeholders, reduce costs, reduce energy
consumption and make the best use of available materials and human resources”;

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- strengthen the human resources capabilities, both in terms of number and qualifications of the
Environmental Health Unit and the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA); and
- expand the analytical capacity of NEPA and Environmental Health Laboratory to carry out
chemical organic analysis and analysis of pesticides, pharmaceutical waste and heavy metals.
- Support the review, socialisation and use of the Manual for Minimum Requirements for Waste
Water Treatment Systems and Excreta Management in Jamaica.

Critically, the report said that there is need, too, to “place more attention on sanitation”. “Good
sanitation is achievable if supported by the right set of policies, targeted technical assistance,
institutional capacity, adequate funding, and strong political commitment and community
engagement,” noted the study, which forms a part of a regional assessment for the Wider
Caribbean Region. (Jamaican Gleaner, October 2015)

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PRESENTATION OF DATA
Table 1 showing the results obtained for Total Nitrogen in site visit #1

Date Parameter Results


12.2
6-Mar-17 Total Nitrogen mg/L

Table 2 showing the results obtained for Faecal Coliform in site visit #2

Date Parameter Results


Faecal
13-Mar-17 Coliform 825 MPN/100mt

Table 3 showing the results obtained for Biological Oxygen Demand in site visit #3

Date Parameter Results


20-Mar-17 B.O.D 256 mg O/L

Table 4 showing the results obtained for pH in site visit #4

Date Parameter Results


27/20/2017 pH 7.54

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Table showing the results obtained for each parameter when all four site visits were conducted
compared to the results from the Tan Tan restaurant

Source Total Nitrogen Faecal Coliform BOD pH


Manning's
School 12.2 mg/L 825 MPN/100 mt 256 mg O/L 7.54
Tan Tan 22.8 mg/L 430 MPN/100 mt 122.55 mg O/L 7.5

Table showing the threshold for each parameter tested in the research

Parameter Results
Total
Nitrogen 30 mg/L
Faecal
Coliform 200 MPN/ 100 mt
B.O.D 150 mg O/L
pH 6.5-8

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Bar graph showing the comparison of
the Total Nitrogen from experiment
and it's Threshold

Water Samples

Threshold

Mannings

0 5 10 15 20 25 30
Total Nitrogen mg/L

Fig 1

From the column chart above it can be seen that the Total nitrogen from the water sample
(12.2 mg/L) was less than that of its threshold which had a value of 30 mg/L.

Bar chart showing the comparison


of Faecal Coliform from experiment
with the threshold value
Faecal Coliform MPN/100 mt

1000

500

0
Mannings Threshold
Water Sample

Fig 2

From the Bar graph it is evident that the amount of Faecal Coliform in the sample of
water from Manning’s School (825 MPN/100mt) exceeded its threshold which has a
value of 200 MPN/100 mt.

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Bar Graph showing the BOD obtained
from the experiment in comparison
to its Threshold Value
300
Biological Oxygen Demand mg O/L
250
200
150
100
50
0
Mannings Threshold
Water Sample

Fig 3

The bar chart above shows that the Biological Oxygen Demand of the water tested on the
Manning’s School compound (256 mg O/L) was higher than that of its threshold value
(150 mg O/L).

Bar Graph showing the pH obtained


from the experiment compared to its
Threshold value
Sample of Water

Threshold

Mannings

7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6


pH

Fig 4

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The column chart above shows that the pH of the water sample from the Manning’s School
(7.54) was within the threshold frequency values (6.5-8) but higher than the average of the
readings (7.25).

Bar Graph showing all the


parameters tested compared to their
Threshold Values
900
800
700
600
500 Mannings
400
300 Threshold
200
100
0
Total Faecal BOD pH
Nitrogen Coliform

Fig 5

The bar graph above illustrates that The total Nitrogen Threshold had a higher value than
that of the Water Sample, this was the same for the Faecal Coliform, the Biological
Oxygen Demand but the pH of the water Sample was within the range of the threshold
frequency.

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ANALYSIS OF DATA

Figure 1 shows the comparison between the Total Nitrogen in the water Sample and its
threshold value. The value of Total Nitrogen in the water was 12.2 mg/L and the threshold was
30 mg/L. Ammonium (NH4+) is the major nitrogenous breakdown product, and is carried off in
the effluent that enters the unsaturated sub-surface soil layer of the leaching field. Ideally, the
ammonium would be removed by adsorption to soil particles, or converted to nitrate, then to
nitrogen gas by bacteria, and escape to the atmosphere before entering the groundwater but this
does not happen. This may account for the difference in values due to the fact that the school is
mainly made up of concrete buildings so there is not much soil for leaching to occur throughout
the compound. Figure 2 is an indication of the comparison between the Faecal Coliform reading
and it’s threshold value. The results from the test showed that the level of Faecal Coliform, 825
MPN/100 mt was beyond its threshold value of 200 MPN/100mt. Faecal coliforms are the group
of the total coliforms that are considered to be present specifically in the gut and feces of warm-
blooded animals. Because the origins of fecal coliforms are more specific than the origins of the
more general total coliform group of bacteria, fecal coliforms are considered a more accurate
indication of animal or human waste than the total coliforms.
The difference in results can be accounted for by the fact that there are four bathroom faculties
throughout the compound and these each run towards the different sewer systems, the students
constantly leave the toilets and pipes running which lead to the overflow of the sewer system
which contaminates the surface water.

Figure 3 indicates the difference in values between the Biological Oxygen Demand of the
water sample and the threshold value. The value obtained from the test (256 mg O/L) was more
than that of the threshold (150 mg O/L). Biochemical Oxygen Demand, or BOD, is a measure of
the quantity of oxygen consumed by microorganisms during the decomposition of organic
matter. The BOD levels at the Mannings School compound may be due to the fact that there is
more organic matter in the water to be digested such as leaves, bacteria from the sewer system,
food thrown away which run off into surface water etc. Figure 4 shows the comparison of the pH
levels in the water sample from the Manning’s School and its threshold value. The threshold pH
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ranges from 6.5-8 and the value obtained from the experiment was 7.54. The lower the pH, the
more acidic the sample is and the higher the pH the more alkaline the sample. A pH of 7 is
referred to as neutral. Figure 5 showed the total comparison among all the parameters, it was
seen that three out of four of the values from the experiment either exceeded the limit or fell in
the range of the threshold. The waste water will contain more pollutants because there is a high
amount of surface run off from the building adjacent to the school or from the sewer system
containing detergents or faecal matter or soil particles which will increase the concentration of
certain pollutants in the water, making it more toxic to human life.

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DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS
The Manning’s School is situated beside a commercial centre known as the Beckford
Plaza, this building, along with the sewer system found near Block B on the school compound
aid in the pollution of waste water. The commercial building contributes to this through surface
runoff of gray water and effluent discharge which stems from the use of their bathrooms where
there is the introduction of both faecal matter and nutrients from soaps and detergents. The
laboratory tests which were done confirmed that the levels of Faecal Coliform and BOD were
extremely higher than the thresholds of both parameters. These results indicated that a greater
amount of attention should be given to the quality of the water on the school compound and
measures should be done to alleviate the problem.

When the Total Nitrogen level from the experiment (12.2 mg/L) was compared to that of
the Tan Tan Bakery, it was seen that the Tan Tan Bakery’s value was higher at 22.8 mg/L.
Nitrogen is present in wastewater effluent from many sources, including human feces and
fertilizer. Since water runs down in the town, this difference can be accounted for by the fact that
the water may have come in contact with other nitrogenous sources along the path and carried it
along as run-off to the Bakery. The Fecal Coliform level however was higher on the Manning’s
School (825 MPN/100 mt) than on Tan Tan property (430 MPN/100 mt). This can be accounted
for by dilution. This is the action of making a liquid more dilute. Because the water flows
downtown, it may come in contact with other water sources which combine with this waste water
and limit the concentration of contaminants in the water. The Biological Oxygen Demand level
in the sample from the Manning’s School had a reading of 256 mg O/L which was more than that
of the sample from Tan Tan Restaurant at 122.55 mg O/L. Most natural waters contain small
quantities of organic compounds. Aquatic microorganisms have evolved to use some of these
compounds as food. Microorganisms living in oxygenated waters use dissolved oxygen to
oxidatively degrade the organic compounds, releasing energy which is used
for growth and reproduction. Populations of these microorganisms tend to increase in proportion
to the amount of food available. This microbial metabolism creates an oxygen demand
proportional to the amount of organic compounds useful as food. Under some circumstances,
microbial metabolism can consume dissolved oxygen faster than atmospheric oxygen can

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dissolve into the water or the autotrophic community (algae, cyanobacteria and macrophytes) can
produce. This can difference can also be held accountable by the dilution factor since it also
comes in contact with water sources along its path and the organic matter becomes diluted so
there is less breakdown for the organisms. Both samples had a pH of about 7 which means that
there was not any much change in acidity or alkalinity as the water travelled from the Manning’s
School to Tan Tan Restaurant.

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CONCLUSION
This study was aimed at investigating the extent by which the waste water on the Manning’s
School was polluted due to effluent discharge and surface run-off. A study of the findings show
that the parameters that were investigated gave a high value of results which exceeded almost if
not all of the threshold values.

The threshold level for Total Nitrogen is 30 mg/L and the level of Nitrogen from the experiment
was 12.2 mg/L. The threshold value for Faecal Coliform was 200 MPN/100 mt while that of the
water sample tested was 825 MPN/100 mt. The Biological Oxygen demand gave a value of 256
mg O/L when it was tested for in the water sample, this exceeded its threshold value which is
150 m O/L. The pH tested, 7.54, was within the threshold of pH ranges of the threshold limit
(6.5-8).

With the overall analysis of each threshold level for the parameters and the findings that were
obtained, it can be concluded that the waste water from the Manning’s School was very polluted.

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RECOMMENDATIONS
In order to alleviate the problem of waste water pollution on the Manning’s School, a number of
measures can be put in place. These include:

-Installing a Biogas Digester on the school compound. A biodigester is like a mechanical


stomach. It is fed with organic material, which is broken down (decomposed) by micro-
organisms (bacteria) is an oxygen-free (anaerobic) environment to produce a renewable energy
called biogas (methane and carbon dioxide) and other material that is mainly used as fertilizer.

-By condemning the old system

-By properly treating the waste water on the school. "Primary treatment" removes about 60
percent of suspended solids from wastewater. This treatment also involves aerating (stirring up)
the wastewater, to put oxygen back in. Secondary treatment removes more than 90 percent of
suspended solids.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY
 National Environment and Planning Agency (2013)
Website:http://www.nepa.gov.jm/symposia_03

 (n.d.). Retrieved April 17, 2017, from http://www.pollutionissues.com/Ve-Z/Wastewater-


Treatment.html

 Limited, J. O. (n.d.). What is wastewater? -. Retrieved April 17, 2017, from


http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/What-is-wastewater-_15646756

 Limited, J. O. (n.d.). The water pollution challenge can be tackled -. Retrieved April 17,
2017, from http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/The-water-pollution-challenge-can-be-
tackled_7861504

 Study makes case for improved wastewater management in Jamaica. (n.d.). Retrieved
April 17, 2017, from http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/news/20151001/study-makes-
case-improved-wastewater-management-jamaica

 UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA. (n.d.). Retrieved


April 17, 2017, from
http://www.un.org/depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/part1.htm

 What is wastewater? definition and meaning. (n.d.). Retrieved April 17, 2017, from
http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/wastewater.html

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APPENDIX
JOURNAL OF SITE VISITS AND LABS

The journal encompasses the data that was obtained from the visit to water sources on the
compound which included a little stream running along the commercial building. The purpose of
these visits was to be able to evaluate the extent of water pollution in the waste water on the
Manning’s School compound and also to deduce if the water was within the specific limits
suitable for contact with the staff and students without causing them any harm. The site (water
source) was visited on four occasions to check the various levels of each parameter. A record of
each site visit and labs pertaining to each parameter were presented in the journal. Below are the
journal entries and laboratory exercises conducted on the Manning’s School compound.

Threshold levels

 Faecal Coliform <200 MPN/100 ml


 Total Nitrogen <30mg/L
 Biological Oxygen Demand <150 mg O/L
 pH 6.5-8 units

Journal

Entry #: 001

Date: 06/03/2017

Site (location): The Manning’s School compound which is located in the parish of
Westmoreland.

Objectives:

1. To collect and test a sample of the waste water for Total Nitrogen.

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2. To observe any other developments or activities that may contribute to the pollution of
surface water.
3. To record the different types of sources which lead to waste water pollution on the
Manning’s School compound.

Activities:

 Classes are held


 Parking for vehicles
 Disposing of waste materials

Observations:

The Manning’s School is a relatively large institution which caters to over 1800 students and
staff. The school is in close proximity to a commercial centre from where water is discharged
onto the school’s property. It has a number of sewer systems located on the compound. The
overall weather conditions present on the Manning’s school during the study was a bit windy,
relatively sunny with humid conditions and regulations in temperature. When the first site visit
was being conducted, the area was experiencing a little dry period. Therefore, there was not a lot
of waste water present on the compound to choose from. The trees and grass however still
remained lush and green.

Comments:

The presence of the sewer system and the adjacent commercial centre was of concern to the
researcher, who understood the effects they could have on the surface water. These are thought
to have contributed to effluent discharge in the waste water such as the discharge coming from
the commercial centre and surface run-off from the sewer system at Block B.

Follow-up activities:

Visit the same sites the next week to test a different parameter and to make comparisons with the
threshold limits.

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Lab for site visit # 1

Parameter : Total Nitrogen

Title: Determination of total nitrogen level of in the water sample.

Aim: To investigate the levels of nitrogen in the waste water on the Manning’s School’s
compound (water from stream near commercial centre).

Materials: Waters ample, distilled water, sample cup, test ampoule (containing reagents)

Apparatus

a. Autoclave or hotplate and pressure cooker capable of developing 100 to 110◦C for 30
mins.
b. Glass culture tubes – 30ml screw capped (polypropylene liner less caps) 20mm OD x
150mm long. Clean before use by autoclaving with digestion reagent.

Reagents

a. Oxidizer: Dissolve 6.7g potassium persulphate and 6.0g of Sodium hydroxide in 1000ml
volumetric flask. Have approximately 500ml of distilled water in the flask before adding
dry reagents so that the flask does not become hot.
b. Buffer: Combine 101.0ml of 1M Sodium Hydroxide and 39g of boric acid in a 1000ml
volumetric flask.
c. 0.3N Hydrochloric Acid: Dilute 24.8ml concentrated HCl in a 1000ml volumetric flask.

Fixing Samples

1. In an autoclavable glass screw-capped tube place 40mls of sample or standard.


2. Add 60mls of Oxidizer and quickly cap tightly.
3. Place samples in an autoclave at 100C for 1hr
4. When samples are cool add 6.0mls of 0.3N HCl then recap and shake. All precipitate
must be dissolved before proceeding.

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5. When precipitate is dissolved add 8.0mls buffer and 6.0ml distilled water. Reagent blanks
of distilled water should be prepared as samples each day.

Nitrate Determination by Zinc reduction method

Nitrate nitrogen may be present in small amounts in fresh domestic wastewater. However, it is
seldom found in influents to treatment plants because the nitrate serves as an oxygen source in
the biologically unstable wastewater. On the other hand, nitrate is often found in the effluents of
biological treatment plants, because it represents the final form of nitrogen from the oxidation of
organic nitrogen compounds. Trickling-filter and activated sludge treatment plant effluents may
contain from 0 to 50 mg/L nitrate, depending on the total nitrogen content of the influent, the
degree of loading, and the temperature of the sewage.

Nitrate may also be found in river water, lake water, and most importantly in ground water. The
nitrate may originate from sewage, or in rural areas, it may be produced by fertilizer or barnyard
runoff. The U.S. Public Health Service designated safe limit for nitrate in water is 45 mg/L
nitrate or 10 mg/L nitrate nitrogen. Nitrate in drinking water is particularly dangerous to small
children, infants, and fetuses.

Principle

In this experiment, nitrate will be reduced to nitrite with zinc. The nitrite reacts with sulfanilic
acid and N-1-naphthylethylenediamine to produce a red compound. The intensity of the red color
is analyzed spectrophotometrically. The amount of zinc and the contact period are important.

Special Apparatus

a. Spectrophotometer set at 550 nm.

b. Glass microfiber Filters 934-AH paper (42.5mm) and vacuum filtration apparatus.

Reagents

a. Stock Nitrate solution: Dry Potassium nitrate in an oven at 105°C for 24 hours. Cool in
desiccator for about 30 minutes. Dissolve 0.7218g of anhydrous KNO3 in deionized water and

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dilute to 1 liter. 1ml = 100µg NO3- i.e. 100 mg/L nitrate solution, which will be used in this
experiment.

b. Hydrochloric acid diluted 1:4: Slowly and carefully add 100 ml of concentrated
Hydrochloric Acid to 400ml deionized water.

c. Sulfanilic Acid: Dissolve 3.00 g of sulfanilic acid in 350 mL hot purified water, cool, dilute to
500 mL with purified water, and mix thoroughly. Prepare new reference standards with each
preparation of sulfanilic acid.

d. Zinc: Add 1.000 g finely powdered zinc to 200 g sodium chloride, NaCl, in a bottle and mix
thoroughly by shaking for at least 10 minutes. Reagent should be prepared daily.

g. N-1-naphthylethylenediamine dihydrochloride reagent:

Dissolve 0.60 g N-1-naphthylethylenediamine dihydrochloride in purified water to which 1.0 mL


con. HCl has been added. Dilute to 100 mL and mix. Store the solution in the refrigerator.

h. Sodium acetate solution:

Prepare 500 mL of 2 M NaC2H3O2. Measure 82g of NaC2H3O2 and dilute to 500ml with
deionized water.

Procedure

a. Preparation of standards:

 Standard Nitrate solution: Pipette 5ml of stock solution in a 500ml volumetric flask
and dilute to mark with deionized water.
 Prepare a series of standards by accurately pipetting calculated volumes of standard
nitrate solutions into 50ml volumetric flasks and make up to 50ml with deionized water.
 Transfer to a 250-mL erlenmeyer flask.
 Prepare standards in the range 0 – 1.0 mg NO3-N/L (0, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, 0.6, 0.7, 0.8,
0.9, 1.0 mg NO3-N/L). See Table below.

Table showing measurements for the preparation of reference standards

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Nitrate standards Standard Nitrate volume to Volume of deionized water
concentration be measured to make up to final volume
of 50ml. (ml)
mg NO3-N/L (ml)

0 (Blank) 0 50

0.1 5 45

0.2 10 40

0.3 15 35

0.4 20 30

0.5 25 25

0.6 30 20

0.7 35 15

0.8 40 10

0.9 45 5

1.0 50 0

b. Experimental: Use the following procedure for treating standards as well as river, lake, well,
or sewage water samples.

Note: Treated sewage effluent may require a 5-fold or a 10- fold dilution. A 10-fold dilution can
be performed by pipetting 5.0 mL of the treated wastewater (sewage) sample into a 100-mL
graduated cylinder and adding enough water to bring the volume up to 50 mL. This 50 mL
sample can then be taken through the experimental and color development procedure. A 10-fold

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dilution results in a dilution factor of 10. Remember to multiply the concentration obtained for
the diluted sample by a factor of 5 or 10.

 To a 50.0-mL water sample in a 250-mL erlenmeyer flask, add 1.0 mL of dilute HCl (1:4
dilution) and 1.0 mL sulfanilic acid reagent and mix thoroughly.
 In a dry 10-mL graduated cylinder, measure 1.0 mL of the Zn/NaCl granular mixture and
add it to the erlenmeyer flask.
 Crush Zn powder to eliminate all clumps, this ensures even mixing of Zn
powder with NaCl.z
 Mix for 10 minutes to ensure homogenous mixture
 Mix Zn/NaCl mixture thoroughly in between measurements to redistribute
settled zinc powder.
 Ensure exactly 1 ml of Zn/NaCl mixture is measured, shake or gently tap
measuring cylinder to level Zn/NaCl mixture.
 Swirl the flask for seven minutes.
 Filter with a vacuum flask after the seven minute swirling period. Rinse the erlenmeyer
flask well with purified water and pour the filtered water sample back into the flask.
 Color Development: Add 1.0 mL N-1- naphthylethylenediaminedihydrochloride reagent
to the filtered sample and mix. Add 1.0 mL of 2 M sodium acetate solution and mix.
Swirl sodium acetate solution before use, to dissolve any buildup of salt in the bottle.
 Allow 5 minutes (or more) for color development.

Spectrophotometric Measurement: Measure the color intensity with a spectrophotometer at a


wavelength of 550 nm. Purified water may be used for a blank unless the water sample is cloudy.

In that case, use a sample of cloudy water as a blank. Record the absorbance of the colored
sample.

Calculations

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From the concentration and the absorbance of the four standards, make a plot of absorbance as a
function of concentration. Use the plot and the absorbance of each unknown solution to
determine the concentration in mg/L nitrate ion (mg NO3-/L) in that sample. Also, express the
concentration in terms of mg/L of nitrate nitrogen (mg N/L)

Results: See final result table.

Discussion: From the results for site visit number 1, it was observed that the water sample had a
low Total Nitrogen level when compared to that of the threshold limit. This could be due to the
fact that the water does not contain a large amount of Ammonium since the institution does not
have large plots of land where fertilizers are used except for the farm, which was too far from the
vicinity for run-off to affect the waste water.

Conclusion: The level of Total Nitrogen in the water sample was deduced to be 12.2 mg/L.

Entry #: 002

Date: 13/03/2017

Site (location): The Manning’s School compound which is located in the parish of
Westmoreland.

Objectives:

1. To collect and test a sample of the waste water for Faecal Coliform.

2. To observe any other developments or activities that may contribute to the pollution of
surface water.
3. To record the different types of sources which lead to waste water pollution on the
Manning’s School compound.

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Activities:

 Classes are held


 Parking for vehicles
 Disposing of waste materials

Observations:

The Manning’s School is a relatively large institution which caters to over 1800 students and
staff. The school is in close proximity to a commercial centre from where water is discharged
onto the school’s property. It has a number of sewer systems located on the compound. During
the weekend before the second site visit it had rained. This was seen to increase the amount of
surface run-off from the commercial centre unto the compound and also from the sewer system
overflow.

Comments:

The presence of the sewer system and the adjacent commercial centre was of concern to the
researcher, who understood the effects they could have on the surface water. These are thought
to have contributed to effluent discharge in the waste water such as the discharge coming from
the commercial centre and surface run-off from the sewer system at Block B.

Follow-up activities:

Visit the same sites the next week to test a different parameter and to make comparisons with the
threshold limits.

Lab for site visit # 2

Parameter : Faecal Coliform

Title: Determination of faecal coliform level of in the water sample.

Aim: To investigate the levels of faecal coliform in the waste water on the Manning’s School’s
compound (water from stream near commercial centre).

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Materials: Water sample, test tubes, measuring cylinder, Lauryl Tryptose, incubator

Procedure:

 Receives the samples and assigns a number to each sample for proper identification.
 Transfers the number assigned to the samples to the test tubes or plates for easy
identification of samples.
 Places 10 ml sample in five (5) test tubes containing 10 ml of Lauryl Tryptose (LT).
 Incubates test tubes samples containing Broth for 48 hours + or -3 hours at 350C + or -
10C.
On completion of the Incubation period:
 Checks the samples to determine whether the results are positive or negative.
Note: If the results are positive Air Bubbles will be seen in the Durham Tube.
If the results are negative:
 Assembles the used Test Tubes, Containers and unused samples.
 Returns them to the Laboratory Attendants for sterilization and disposal of Media in
keeping with the standard procedures.

If the results are positive:

 Removes the entire set of five (5) tubes for further testing and places them on a rack
 Inoculates from the positive tube by using an Inoculating Loop into a corresponding BG
& EC tube labelled with corresponding number.
 Incubates the BG samples for 48 hours + or – 3 hours at 350C + or -10C.
 Incubates the EC samples for 24 hours + or – 1 hour at 44.50C + or -0.5 0C in Water Bath.

On completion of the Incubation period:

 Removes the incubated samples


 Indicates positive (+) or negative (-) on the prescribed areas of the Sample Result Card.
If the result is positive:
 Records the positive samples and compares the data with Statistical Tables provided by
the MOH/ WHO.

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Results: See final result table.

Discussion: The value for the Faecal Coliform Level obtained was beyond that of the threshold
limit. This can be accounted for by the fact that surface run-off was increased due to the rain
before the site visit. Due to the overflow of the sewer systems, there is the introduction of
contaminants to the surface water such as faecal coliform.

Conclusion: The Faecal Coliform value obtained for site visit two was concluded to be 825
MPN/ 100mt.

Entry #: 003

Date: 20/03/2017

Site (location): The Manning’s School compound which is located in the parish of
Westmoreland.

Objectives:

1. To collect and test a sample of the waste water for Biological Oxygen Demand.

2. To observe any other developments or activities that may contribute to the pollution of
surface water.
3. To record the different types of sources which lead to waste water pollution on the
Manning’s School compound.

Activities:

 Classes are held


 Parking for vehicles
 Disposing of waste materials

Observations:

The Manning’s School is a relatively large institution which caters to over 1800 students and
staff. The school is in close proximity to a commercial centre from where water is discharged

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onto the school’s property. It has a number of sewer systems located on the compound. For the
third site visit, the environment was quite windy and a bit humid. An adequate amount of surface
water was present on the compound. Leaves could be seen floating on the water.

Comments:

The presence of the sewer system and the adjacent commercial centre was of concern to the
researcher, who understood the effects they could have on the surface water. These are thought
to have contributed to effluent discharge in the waste water such as the discharge coming from
the commercial centre and surface run-off from the sewer system at Block B.

Follow-up activities:

Visit the same site the next week to test a different parameter and to make comparisons with the
threshold limits.

Lab for site visit # 3

Parameter : Biological Oxygen Demand

Title: Determination of Biological Oxygen Demand level of in the water sample.

Aim: To investigate the levels of Biological Oxygen Demand in the waste water on the
Manning’s School’s compound (water from stream near commercial centre).

Materials: Dissolved Oxygen Probe, sampling bottle, water samples

Procedure:

Because the Dissolved Oxygen Probe requires 5-10 minutes to polarize before it can be used, it
will already be connected to the interface, and will be in a sample of distilled water. Important:
The warm up must be done in order to get accurate dissolved oxygen readings.

 Choose a desirable location to perform your measurements.


 Rinse the sampling bottle out a few times with the sample water. Fill the sampling bottle
so that it is completely full and stopper the bottle under water. This should minimize the

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amount of atmospheric oxygen that gets into the water until the measurements have been
made.
 Position the computer and Probes safely away from the water. The computer will be
damaged if it gets wet.
 Remove the Dissolved Oxygen Probe from the storage bottle. Place the probe into the
water to be sampled. Gently and continuously swirl it to allow water to move past the
probe’s tip. After 30 seconds, or when the dissolved oxygen reading stabilizes, record the
dissolved oxygen reading, in Table 1. Return the Dissolved Oxygen Probe to the storage
bottle.
 Place the conductivity Probe into the water sampling bottle and gently swirl to allow
water to move past the probe’s tip. The conductivity probe is measuring Total Dissolved
Solids (TDS). When the TDS reading stabilizes, record it in table 1. Disconnect the
Oxygen Probe and Conductivity Probes from the interface. Important: Handle both
probes with care. The Dissolved Oxygen Probe should be reconnected to the interface so
it remains polarized.

Results: See final table for the results.

Discussion: Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD, also called biological oxygen demand) is the
amount of dissolved oxygen needed (i.e., demanded) by aerobic biological organisms to break
down organic material present in a given water sample at certain temperature over a specific time
period. Due to the windy environmental conditions, it may have increase the amount of organic
matter in the water sample causing the BOD level to be above its threshold limit.

Conclusion: It can be concluded that the level of BOD in the water sample was 256 mg O/L.

Entry #: 004

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Date: 27/03/2017

Site (location): The Manning’s School compound which is located in the parish of
Westmoreland.

Objectives:

1. To collect and test a sample of the waste water for pH.


2. To observe any other developments or activities that may contribute to the pollution of
surface water.
3. To record the different types of sources which lead to waste water pollution on the
Manning’s School compound.

Activities:

 Classes are held


 Parking for vehicles
 Disposing of waste materials

Observations:

The Manning’s School is a relatively large institution which caters to over 1800 students and
staff. The school is in close proximity to a commercial centre from where water is discharged
onto the school’s property. It has a number of sewer systems located on the compound. The
environment was quite humid during the fourth site visit; there had been no rain for about 4 days.

Comments:

The presence of the sewer system and the adjacent commercial centre was of concern to the
researcher, who understood the effects they could have on the surface water. These are thought
to have contributed to effluent discharge in the waste water such as the discharge coming from
the commercial centre and surface run-off from the sewer system at Block B which leads to the
changes in the different parameters being tested.

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Follow-up activities:

The results from all the experiments done will be tabulated and analysed.

Lab for site visit # 4

Parameter : pH

Title: Determination of pH of in the water sample.

Aim: To investigate the pH of the waste water on the Manning’s School’s compound (water
from stream near commercial centre).

Materials: Temperature probe, pH sensor, plastic cup, water samples

Procedure:

 Connect the temperature probe to Channel 1 and the pH sensor to Channel 2.


 Place the Temperature Probe into the corner of the water sampling bottle. When the
reading stabilizes, record the temperature reading in Table 1. Disconnect the temperature
probe from the interface and reconnect the Dissolved Oxygen Probe (so it stays
polarized).
 Using the small plastic cup, obtain some of the water to be sampled to rinse the pH
sensor.
 Remove the pH sensor from the storage bottle. Rinse the pH electrode thoroughly with
the sample water then place the electrode into the water to be sampled and gently swirl.
When the reading stabilizes, record the pH value in Table 1.
 Repeat the above steps for the two other samples of water.

Results: Table showing the results obtained from all four site visits over a period of four
weeks.

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Source Total Nitrogen Faecal Coliform BOD pH
Manning's
School 12.2 mg/L 825 MPN/100 mt 256 mg O/L 7.54

Discussion: The pH of the environment has a profound effect on the rate of


microbial growth. pH affects the function of metabolic enzymes. Acidic conditions
(low pH) or basic conditions (high pH) alter the structure of the enzyme and stop
growth. Most microorganisms do well within a pH range of 6.5 to 8.5. The pH
obtained from the experiment was within the threshold limit of 6.5-8.

Conclusion: The pH obtained from the experiment was 7.54 units.

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