Water Quality Testing at Lubber Run

Posted by Allyson Greene at 11/8/2010 3:55:00 PM

5th Grade Investigates Water at Lubber Run

Lubber Run moss Lubber Run in the Morning…. Kingdom Plantae–Moss (non-vascular plant) on our walk


These rocks were placed by the edge of the stream to help prevent erosion.

This week, 5th graders spent their Discovery lab time out in the ‘field’! That is, they became biologists in the sense that they conducted a stream study at Lubber Run Park, which is one of the many places Four Mile Run winds through. Four Mile Run empties into the Potomac, which then empties into the Chesapeake Bay.

Turbidity, temperature, nitrate and phosphate levels, as well as dissolved oxygen levels were tested. Furthermore, students were able to examine a sample of water to look for various kinds of macroinvertebrates found in the stream. These tiny animals are crucial to the food chain as larger animals, such as turtles and fish, eat them to survive. We found 6 different kinds of macroinvertebrates when we sampled on Tuesday. This was a fair amount of these critters, which led students to conclude that the overall health of Four Mile Run at Lubber Run was pretty good. From all of the water testing, students were surprised to learn that the stream is not in terrible condition, but there is room for improvement! Students discussed ways to continue to help the water improve–turn off water when it’s running, be careful with the types of cleaning solutions we use, etc.

For students, this experience tied together current classroom and Discovery lab studies with what is happening in the environment. We thank Elenor Hodges with Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment for helping make this experience very worthwhile!

water observing Gathering samples and examining water for macroinvertebrates… testing Shaking up the water sample for an accurate test! turbidity ace These pictures–The turbidity (clarity of water) at Lubber Run was observed to be 0 JTU–very clear! Mrs. Hodges chats with some students. testing observe More observing and testing in these pictures! macroinvertebrates ACE Observing for different types of macroinvertebrates…. macroinvertebrartes slide The first picture shows some of the macroinvertebrates we found. In the next picture, Mrs, Greene prepares a slide of water for students to observe for protists and other life.