Nature Study:One Year Pond Study – Week 2: Spring Pond Pollution

Welcome to week 2 of our pond study.  For week 1 see here.  This week we decided to concentrate on pond pollution to see if it changes over the year.  Here was the pond that greeted us last Monday:

Grey, overcast with a sprinkling of snow
Grey, overcast with a sprinkling of snow.  Still beautiful in my humble opinion!

Week two of our pond study saw daddy at home unwell, with B2 not feeling quite right.  That and the fact it was freezing out and snowing, we made the decision to take the car.  The littles stayed in the car with Gary, whilst the older three and I investigated our pond.  This week I wanted to concentrate on the pollution levels found in the pond.  I had done a bit of research on-line and we decided to look at the following:

  1. Water clarity
  2. Water pH
  3. Bugs in the water
  4. Insect life around the pond
  5. General wildlife around the pond
  6. Any outward signs of pollution/waste
  7. Looking at the surrounding area. Were there any obvious things causing pollution

The children collected a sample of water from the deeper end and the muddy, shallow end of the pond.  We used a simple jam jar and labeled each.  The water was fairly clear in both jars:

Both shallow and deep water look clear
Both shallow and deep water look clear, with algae and sediment at the bottom

T11 measured the pH of both water samples.  They measured a pH of 8, which means the pond is slightly alkaline but within limits and therefore healthy enough to support life:

T11 testing
T11 testing
And the result
And the result

There was not much evidence at all of any insect life around the pond, but it was so cold, I think I would have been surprised if we had seen any.  There was, however, much wildlife to be seen:

Mallard ducks: business as usual for them!
Mallard ducks: business as usual for them!
Our much coveted Manderin duck
Our much coveted Mandarin duck
And this week we managed to photo some moor hens, amoungst the trees
And this week we managed to photo some moor hens, amongst the trees
Irises popping throught he water at the first sign of spring
Irises popping through he water at the first sign of spring
Many types of grasses and reeds live on the side of the pond.  We will be investigating them another week!
Many types of grasses and reeds live on the side of the pond. We will be investigating them another week!
Spring flowers poking their heads through
Spring flowers poking their heads through

The children concluded that even in late winter/early spring our pond supported a great variety of wildlife.

I then sent the children around the perimeter of the pond to discover if they could find evidence of any kind of pollution/ waste or rubbish.  To be honest, given our village is quite a large village, there was very little:

The odd crisp packet
The odd crisp packet
Sweet wrapper
Sweet wrapper
And empty bottle.  But that was all.
And empty bottle and tennis ball. But that was all.

I wonder if that will increase as the weather is warmer and more people are out and about?  The last thing I took a photo of was the water level, measured by its level against a no fishing sign.  Gary suggested this:

Only the top of the sign can be seen!
Only the top of the sign can be seen!

When we got back home we jotted down notes pertaining to the weather, observations etc ready to be stuck in our March page of our family notebooking (which I will take a photo of at the end of each month and post it)  We also began a chart of water pH which we will keep at the back of our Nature notebook:

Our huge A2 sized homemade journal
Our huge A2 sized homemade journal

Science Sunday

24 comments

  1. Very cool! Have you thought about looking at the microbial life in the water? I bet there is some really neat microbes to see.

      1. Number three goal was bugs in water, and we were indeed going to look under our microscope, but with Gary ill and B2 ill I forgot until the water was a couple of days old and so we abandoned the idea. We’ll hopefully do it this week and I’ll add it to the post. I’m so pleased I’m not a perfectionist…….!
        Have a lovely weekend!

  2. I’m very inspired by this, still. We’re definitely going to do some nature-observation of our own thanks to your example! I hope Gary & your little one are feeling better now.

  3. We’ve never tried testing the pH level of our pond. I should have thought of it because we have to have our well water tested for all sorts of things every year, but I never made the mental leap, apparently. 🙂 I’m adding it to our list of pond ideas for later this year. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Wow thank you sol much for the great idea. I will do this with the kids over the next few weeks! I am always dearly inspired by your posts! Many thanks!
    Jeanine

  5. I love seeing discovery science in the real world (not in a book with answers). Keep going with this! SO many possibilities for experiments!

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