Monitoring Water Quality of an Urban Waterfowl Sanctuary
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The evaluation of physical parameters of water is crucial to determining the overall health of an aquatic eco-system. This study investigated the impact of a concentrated population of waterfowl on water quality in a controlled system of small, shallow, macrophyte-rich ponds situated in urban parkland in the city of Regina. The ponds are ideal for this assessment, as inflow and outflow are controlled, and proved useful in the assessment of potential human health risks associated with an urban waterfowl sanctuary. Water quality was assessed according to physical parameters, including pH, specific conductance (EC), temperature, and total dissolved solids (TDS). The measurement of these characteristics at the point of inflow was a direct indicator of water quality in the ponds’ main water source, a nearby urban lake. Extreme fluctuations in EC, basic-heavy pH, cool temperatures, and variable TDS levels indicated inflow of poor to variable quality. Outflow water quality was very different, and it appeared that waterfowl reduced pH, EC and TDS levels. The results have application in policy, planning, and programming decisions in urban parklands.