Effects of a Storm Drain Net on Water Quality and Macroinvertebrates in the Delaware Run

Student: Brianna Graber ’20
Research Mentor: Shala Hankison (OWU Department of Zoology)

Trash and debris can have a major impact on our local waterways. I determined the impacts of a storm drain net located in the Delaware Run behind Merrick Hall. There is little research on this topic, so the long-term results of this study will provide a new baseline data set that could be widely applied. Water quality parameters such as orthophosphate, ammonia, nitrate, dissolved oxygen, free and total chlorine, pH and temperature were measured upstream and downstream of where the net was located along with water conditions such as flow, clarity and current weather. Vegetation (amount of shade present in the given sample area), aquatic wildlife (fish and snakes counted in the given sample area), and terrestrial wildlife were also counted. In addition, macroinvertebrate sampling was done upstream and downstream of the net. This research will allow us to understand the effects of removing trash and green debris from the waterway and allow us to look at possible chemical improvements.

My research this summer involves observing the chemistry of a waterway by chemical analyses and aquatic insect sampling in order to check the water quality of the Delaware Run as a whole. In order to monitor the water quality, I will be installing a net system in the Delaware Run behind Merrick Hall that will collect trash and green debris from the water in order to improve the quality of the water.