Water Quality Exam

Gross looking runoff under the Baltimore Pike overpass

On Wednesday while studying for my first exam in Water Quality and Pollution Control, I decided that I needed to go for a jog up the Crum Creek.  I could get some exercise while at the same time exploring a local impaired stream – what better way to prepare for a test on urban runoff?

I’ve wanted to go explore Smedley Park, which is north of Baltimore Pike, for a while.  What had stopped me up to this point was having to cross the creek, Paper Mill Road, and Baltimore Pike, all without any clear pedestrian markings.  This means getting from the lower right to upper left corner of this picture unscathed:

I found the appropriate paths and made it to the park.  The quiet woods and fat groundhog were enjoyable.  I’m definitely glad I found the way up to the park and plan on returning there soon.  Things should be gorgeous when the leaves change.

One lane road in Smedley Park

Groundhog

Water Quality Lab

My lab group collecting samples in Ridley Township [Photo courtesy of Professor McGarity]

Last week was my first lab session for my Water Quality and Pollution Control class.  Our group retrieved and analyzed samples from an autosampling setup on a tributary to the Little Crum Creek.  It was good to be back in the Engineering Department Suburban for the first time this year.  It’s always an adventure having professors drive around in the Suburban (which is even older than my dad’s truck).  I also enjoyed feeling like I was back in a chemistry lab after a few years of heavily mechanical/electrical labs.  We analyzed the samples, which had been taken during a recent rain event, for total suspended solids, nitrates, and phosphates.  Professor McGarity’s work on local watershed issues is outlined here.