Jonathan M. Malzone
Nitrate is a natural nutrient that is a part of any aquatic ecosystem, however anthropogenic impacts such as agriculture can increase these concentration. Regulating these water quality is important to prevent potential harmful environmental impacts such as algal blooms. New environmental sensors for nutrients have been developed in the past few years, which make environmental monitoring for harmful conditions easier. In this research, I used a YSI nitrate sensor in order to track water quality. Testing was conducted at Eastern Kentucky University’s Farm site located in Waco, Kentucky. In addition to nitrate I sampled pH, Chloride, Temperature, Specific Conductivity, and Dissolved Oxygen. These test results have been recorded since July 6th of 2017 - present. Testing was conducted at 17 different sites that are located all across the farm. These sites included: streams, groundwater springs and manure lagoons. High readings of nitrate and other indicators stand out from background measurement levels in groundwater springs and certain locations in a cattle pasture.