Thermal Pollution in the Kalamazoo River as Indicated by Invertebrate Samples
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The study is intended partially as a follow-up to the the DNR study done last summer and primarily as a study of thermal pollution in the Kalamazoo River as it is affected by a fossil-fuel plant.The study was concerned with heated effluents entering the Kalamazoo River from the two discharge points from Consumers Power Company's B. E. Morrow Plant, located upstream from the city of Kalamazoo. A set of modified Hester-Dendy artificial substrate samplers were constructed and placed in the river at five different locations to determine what type of aquatic invertebrates could survive under varying temperature conditions. After about six and one-half weeks of exposure, the samplers were removed from the river, disassembled, washed, sorted, and identified. Certain species of these insects can be used as "indicator" organisms, reflecting the general pollutional state of the river. Since the invertebrates make up an important part of the aquatic food chain, generalizations can be made concerning the relative abundance of other forms of aquatic life in the area. A set of dissolved oxygen and temperature data was also used to characterize the river at the different sample locations. General findings were that the thermal pollution is not as severe as might be expected; the pollutional forms in the area of the effluents begin to recover fairly rapidly as one goes downstream.