by Amanda Gomez & Elizabeth Gillis
Sample A: Cambridgeside Galleria fountain Location: N 42° 22.164 W 071° 04.577 Type of water: River, and fountain (tap? investigating this further), salt Hypothesis: Low-medium conductivity The water source contains salt, and is right next to a source of litter and other pollution in a highly trafficked area. However, the Charles River has been part of restoration and revitalization projects for many years. Context: The fountain is named after Alfred Vellucci, a former mayor of Cambridge who has credited himself with promoting commercial development like the Galleria, and was dedicated in 1989 by City Manager Robert W. Healy. The fountain is connected to the Charles River, via the Lechmere Canal and is a boarding place for Duck Tours. There are a couple small docks where people can park their boats, and kayakers and motor boaters both frequent the fountain in the warmer months. The Canal is crossed by Edwin H Land Boulevard and touches part of the Charles River Water Reservation. It meets the Charles right next to the Museum of Science. The fountain is a large circle surrounded by a wide concrete path separating it from apartment buildings and the Cambridgeside Galleria Mall.
Sample B: Mystic River (Mary O’Malley Waterfront Park) Location: Google Maps location Type of water: River Hypothesis: High conductivity Context: Mystic River is the main component of a 76 square mile watershed flowing from the Mystic Lakes in Winchester and Arlington through Medford, Somerville, Everett, Charlestown and Chelsea. It empties into Boston Harbor. I collected my sample from the shore in Chelsea, right before the River meets the Harbor. Since the early settlers these river banks hosted mills, shipyards, and villages. Even today the river is dotted with large water tanks and the landscape of industry is clearly seen from above when you cross into Chelsea from Boston. The watershed received EPA rankings of C-’s and D’s from 2006-2012 (EPA). The Mystic River Watershed Association runs a water quality monitoring program that was started in 2000 (Mystic River Watershed Association). They monitor “Bacteria: Enterococcus or E. coli, Total suspended solid, Nutrients: nitrate-nitrite, total phosphorus, Conductivity, Dissolved oxygen, Water temperature and Water color and odor” at marked locations throughout the watershed. According to their mapping data the area where my sample was collected is mainly comprised of Industrial and Commercial space near the water and mixed in with “Urban Open” space and Multi-family Residences. Further upstream there is more density in residences and a large forested area in Winchester and Melrose. The area I collected from also has the most impervious surfaces according to their data (MRWA map). In August the EPA awarded $120,000 to projects dedicated to cleaning up the watershed (EPA release) and that is only one out of a number of programs dedicated to water quality and ecosystem preservation within the watershed.
Sample C/D SAMPLE: Chestnut Hill Reservoir TYPE: Reservoir HYPOTHESIS: I predict that sample C will have lower conductivity than sample D, because of where I took the sample from (at opposite ends of the reservoir). Although sample C and D are both taken from the same reservoir, sample D was taken from the dam, and also had more algae in it, especially green. CONTEXT: It constructed in 1866 and 1870. Chestnut Hill Reservoir was taken offline in 1978, as it was no longer needed for regular water supply distribution, but is maintained in emergency backup status.