Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Oct. 30, 2000

HT students report on Winsted Lake water testing

The sixth grade class at Holy Trinity Elementary School took water samples of Winsted Lake on a field trip Sept. 25.

The students have been studying the water quality of the lake to gain an appreciation for all water life, as well as an understanding of the importance of this natural resource to the community, to the students and to the world.

The class tested pH, dissolved oxygen, nitrates and other factors that affect the lake and the streams leading in and out of the lake. Lois Danielson, sixth grade teacher, shared portions of some of the students' reports.

Peter Neaton ­ It is important to study the lake because eventually, the lake affects people everywhere. We should also study the lake because we should know how clean our lake is and if it is good for fish and other life forms.

By studying the lake, you can find out how much acid, nitrogen, oxygen and ammonia is in it. You can also find the temperature and what kind of bugs are in it.

To test the lake, we went out on a boat. We took bottom samples, measured the temperature, and got water samples. In the classroom, we put the water into five different containers and added a variable to four of them. We put plants in one, plants in another one, but with tinfoil around it so no light could get in; nutrients in another, and fish in the fourth one. We left one with just water in it for a control.

We tested the water each day for pH (acidity), dissolved oxygen (D.O.), ammonia, and nitrate. After doing these experiments, I think differently about Winsted Lake.

I used to think that it was a bad, dirty lake. Now, I know that it is a good lake for fish and plants. It does have some pollution in it, but not as much as I thought it did.

There is still room for improvement in the lake's quality. We must stop polluting the lake. This means we shouldn't dump anything into the storm sewers, not put warm water into it, and not throw garbage in it.

I will always try to keep the lakes and rivers clean by not dumping paint thinner, oil or garbage into them. If I see someone polluting the water, I will tell them to stop.

Josh Remer ­ It is important to study Winsted Lake because you need to know if the lake needs to be cleaned out or to do any other stuff needed to keep the lake healthy. It is also important to study the lake so you know what kind of creatures are in the lake. You also need to know if you can swim and fish in the lake.

The lake water experiment was a help for a group of people who are trying to help keep the lake clean.

The variables were dissolved oxygen, which determines how much oxygen is in the lake; nitrate, which is how much runoff you get from fertilizer; pH, for the amount of acid in the lake; and ammonia, which tells how much fertilizer from manure and wastes of animals is in the lake. We tested for how much acid, oxygen, runoff, and how much waste is in our lake.

I think we have too much nitrate in our lake because we have a lot of algae in Winsted Lake. The pH is very high. The ideal pH is 7.2 and our testing showed from 7.5 to 9.0, which is pretty high. So, I think our lake isn't a very good lake.

I suggest we don't use so much fertilizer on lawns and on sidewalks. Don't have sewers dumping into the lake.

The best thing I can do right now is not pollute the ground with cans or other garbage. Another thing I can do is make sure my parents do not litter, too.

Audrey Lynch ­ Winsted Lake can be improved by stopping the runoff from farms, streets and yards that continue fertilizing that affects the water quality. If the quality would improve, people would enjoy more fishing and swimming right in our town.

As a citizen of Winsted or any town with lakes, I could make a difference by not fertilizing my lawn with toxic chemicals that kill plants and animals. I will not put paint or other chemicals down the sewer drains that go into the lake water.

Grace Hertel ­ I think it's important to study Winsted Lake because then, we could tell others and they could help the lake in ways that we couldn't. It's also important to study Winsted Lake so we know what we did right or wrong.

Winsted Lake, I think, is one of the best lakes to test because we put a lot of stuff in the lake that we shouldn't. I think it's important to study Winsted Lake, because that water can affect everyone in the world because it drains into the Mississippi and pretty soon, it's in the Gulf of Mexico. Studying Winsted Lake can save lives.

The quality of Winsted Lake is pretty good. It's not perfect because people didn't know what was good or bad for lakes. My brother, Jake, said that a farmer used to let his cows go into the lake and bathe, and go to the bathroom and let out bad germs into the lake. That's one reason why Winsted Lake has a bad reputation.

Some things that can be done to improve the lake are to not have crop and flower fertilizer runoff going into the lake. Another improvement would be not putting fish guts and insides into the lake after fishing. Also, not putting chemicals into Winsted Lake. Anything you wouldn't want to drink or swim in, don't put in the lake.

Tara Cochran ­ I think that it is important to study Winsted Lake because then, you can see if chemicals in the lake have increased or decreased over the years, months, or weeks. It would tell you if it is safe to swim in the lake or if it will affect you in anyway. It's important that you know if the fish or plants are getting harmed by chemicals. It could mess up the whole system.

You have to be very accurate when you study the lake. Mistakes could cause damage to the results.

My opinion is that Winsted Lake is in okay shape. It seems like it changes every day. Take plants and light, for instance. If you have a sunny day, the plants will receive more energy (food). But if it is a cloudy day, like the plants and dark we studied, the plants won't get their needed energy. So, it pretty much matters on the weather.

To improve Winsted Lake you could encourage others to stop using the dangerous chemicals in their field. Maybe you could clean up along the shore. There can be wrappers, pop cans, and other litter ruining the lake. Big factories are very dangerous and critical. They poison the air and the water.

I will not waste our resources and I won't use fertilizers that could harm the water. If everyone did this, our lakes would be crystal blue or somewhat blue. Someone has to help protect the water.

Lindsay Ide ­ I think it's important to study Winsted Lake because we can learn how to help it and when to help it. It is also important because we can know what lives in the lake and how our human ways affects them.

Winsted Lake is gross to me because there's always dead fish on the shore and that's caused by low pH and high carbon dioxide. Then, when you get out, you have all these little green spots on you, and I think that's called algae.

People should stop polluting and dumping chemicals into the lake. They do that because they think, "Heck, it's already dirty, what would it matter." Then, they don't think about how it affects them or their family and what they do.

I want to make people listen so they know what affects them. I would tell them that their bad

choices about polluting the lake also affects them by diseases or sicknesses they can get. Those diseases get there by chemicals and then, it gets on the fish's food and then, into the fish.

It's like that for all animals in a lake. If you got bitten by one, you would be injected by the animal and get sick or even, die. Hopefully, everyone will think before they pollute.


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