An Assessment of Water Quality in the Kalamazoo Area: Analysis of the Headwater to the West Fork of Portage Creek Running through Asylum Lake, Parkview Hills, and the West Fork Property
Nosow, Celeste L.
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Water is a natural resource that is essential to all species serving as a habitat and a source for nutrients. Today, water pollution as a result of urbanization threatens water quality and aquatic ecosystems. Water pollution is the result of pollutants (chemical, nutrients, waste, etc.) directly or indirectly entering the water system. Since water is vital to our survival and many other organisms, it is important to monitor the quality to better understand its role in the health of an ecosystem and how to properly manage this resource. While most studies have used physicochemical characteristics, more recently biological components are used to further support findings. The author used an adaptation of the MiCorps field stream guidelines to collect macroinvertebrate samples from the headwaters making up the West Fork of the Portage Creek found in the Kalamazoo area. In addition to macroinvertebrates, the author observed physicochemical characteristics to assess the health of the water system. The author hypothesized that the variation in water quality would be influenced by the quality of the feed sources for the streams. The author used three sample locations each with varying habitat conditions. The author sampled the creek at the outflow of Asylum Lake, a creek that ran through Parkview Hills, and a creek that ran through the West Fork Property. The author also hypothesized that the water quality found in Parkview Hills would be higher than the other two sites as a result of the community’s commitment to the preservation of nature. The hypotheses were confirmed as the creek running through Parkview Hills displayed the highest water quality.