Last week, Warwick High School students participated in a stream study field trip that took them all across Lititz. During the study, students tested the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of Lititz Run and few of its tributaries at eight to nine different testing sites. The physical tests included air and water temperatures as well as stream flow rate and turbidity. The chemical tests included pH, dissolved oxygen, total dissolved solids, nitrate levels, phosphate levels, and water hardness as measured by calcium ion concentration. The biological tests included sampling and counting macroinvertebrates.
Warwick High School partners with the watershed coordinator for the Lancaster County Conservation District to share the data with the Lititz Run Watershed Alliance — an organization that has worked hard to improve the water quality of Lititz Run. Improving water quality is a long and slow process, but the data that the students collect allows them to quantify and track small and steady changes over the years.
“Last Friday our students did a great job of working efficiently in small teams to learn how to use a variety of calculator-based probes as well as wet chemistry techniques in order to collect raw data at eight different sites. Some of the sites were quite muddy but the students enjoyed the day. I had several students ask me if they could participate in the trip again in the spring,” stated Mrs. Diana Griffiths, a science teacher at the high school.
Warwick High School’s stream study field trips take place biannually, once in the fall and once in the spring.