Public Lab Research note

The Problematic Pollution of Lake Pontchartrain

by gabrielmetoyer , aidenbridevaux , williammckevitt | April 14, 2021 12:02 14 Apr 12:02 | #26233 | #26233


Lake Pontchartrain has been polluted throughout the years. Many people have gotten sick from the amount of pollution in years past. Today, there isn't as much pollution in Lake Pontchartrain to our knowledge, which is a great improvement upon what the lake used to be.

Our main concern:

Our main concerns of Lake Pontchartrain are the pollution that occurs there today and where it comes from. The effects the pollution of the lake could and is having on the environment and life in Louisiana.

Obstacles and supporting information:

Some obstacles are going to the lake and gathering information to observe the pollution levels. Another problem is getting the tools to use the data that we collect and observe.

Who is engaged in this concern?

The people of Louisiana who care about the quality of our lake. As well as people who go boating or spend time in or at the lake. To our knowledge, we don't know of any other groups.

What are the initial questions?

  • What are the main sources of lake pollution?
  • Are these other causes of lake pollution abundant?
  • What types of pollution affect the lake?
  • Why do people feel that it's okay to pollute the lake environment?
  • What areas of the lake have the most amount of pollution?
  • What can we do to stop the spread of pollution at boat launches?
  • What are some effects of the pollution in the lake?

[questions:Lake-Pontchartrain-Pollution ]


@gabrielmetoyer has marked @williammckevitt as a co-author.

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@gabrielmetoyer has marked @aidenbridevaux as a co-author.

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Summary of Data Collection A group member went to Lake Pontchartrain, where he collected two bottles of lake water. Back at school, we plugged in an electrode amplifier that measures, pH and mV (ORP). An oxidation-reduction potential sensor measures the ability of a lake or river to cleanse itself. All three of us collected separate data that we examined through our LabQuest 2 tablet. Using distilled water and lake water, we measured the pH and mV. We plugged it into the LabQuest 2 tablet, and we then put the sensor into the water and got our results. Our results varied between our tests and we made charts on levels of mV and pH in the water. The unit pH is a level that measures how a sample of water is alkaline or acidic. The higher the number the more alkaline and the lower the number the more acidic.





Another lake that is similar to Lake Pontchartrain is Lake Texoma. The average pH for Lake Pontchartrain is 7.89 and the average pH for Lake Texoma is 7.78. They also are both the same type of water which is brackish, a mixture of freshwater and saltwater. We did this experiment because we had some genuine questions that we wanted to answer and we got some of those answers. We had a good time collecting the data, and we might consider doing it again one day.

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Please do not take this wrong. Your work is impressive. But part of science is asking questions, including questions on the testing done. So here are a few questions. So why was ORP testing done? This test is usually used for swimming pools. Why would it be used on Lake Ponch? By the way, a suitable answer is, "it's what I had available". What calibration was done on the pH meter and where is that data recorded? Traceability is always an issue that will be questioned and calibration would fit in the traceability category. Overall, your data is very good. Keep up the good work!

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