(From a Scope,Sequence, &Coordination integrated lesson set)


The City of Science has found that all the fish in Darwin Reservoir have died. To compound the problem, the reservoir level is at its lowest in years. The City of Science uses the Darwin Reservoir for its water supply. The city is worried that there may be a contaminant in the reservoir which is killing the fish.

You are a water scientist and it's your job to investigate. The outcome of your investigation is a matter of life and death to the businesses and inhabitants of the City of Science. In your preliminary analysis you notice that above Darwin Reservoir there is a detergent factory and a recreational lake (SEE MAP). The ACME Detergent Factory makes dish washing soap using water from the SS&C River, and dumps its waste water at 1,000 liters per hour into a growing tailings pond. The factory is barely able to make a profit due to its electric bill.

Lake Newton, found east of the SS&C River, is part of a large City Parks and Recreation facility. It was built over an abandoned ammunition factory that was active during World War 1. The City of Science felt very lucky to find a grass covered area next to the abandoned factory with a natural depression that could be filled with water to create a lake. Lake Newton must be supplied with a constant flow of water from the SS&C River in order to stay full.

What is contaminating the reservoir and where is the pollution coming from? Suggest a hypothesis. You will be supplied with soil and water samples from the reservoir, the factory and Lake Newton. You must design and carry out your tests using data tables to organize your information. Once you have collected your data, suggest an explanation as to why the fish are dying based on your information.

You may want to choose to do some or all of these tests:

Percolation and Absorption test

Soil Composition and Texture

Lead Test

Nitrate and Phosphate test

Dissolved Oxygen test

pH test

Biological Assay of Water


Finally, using your wonderful knowledge of physics that you have covered so far, propose a possible solution to ACME's electric bill problem.

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