Water Quality of White Horn Brook at University of Rhode Island Kingston Campus

Gabby Messeder


New England streams are a vital natural resource as they assist in flood mitigation, nutrient recycling, and pollution extraction; therefore, it is necessary to monitor the quality of these waterways. This study focused on creating an annual profile of the water quality of White Horn Brook as it passes through the University of Rhode Island by taking weekly samples of temperature, pH, electric conductivity, and nitrate. The resulting data suggests that while temperature, nitrate, pH, and EC levels in the water systems of White Horn Brook have remained within a normal scope for freshwater, there have been instances of spiked EC and nitrate levels, outside of a healthy range. Increases in electrical conductivity, as well as nitrate, in a surface body of water can indicate the presence of pollutants. On a developing campus like the University of Rhode Island, these pollutants may be from excess fertilizer usage near the streams, or stormwater and construction runoff, especially being at a topographic low. Future assessments of the streams should focus primarily on the increasing levels of nitrate and EC, as an increase in their concentrations will only further degrade the freshwater running through URI, and that will eventually drain into the Narragansett Bay.