Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Ballroom A+B (Camino Real Hotel)
Abstract: High concentrations of heavy metals and anions in rivers are hazardous to the local flora and fauna that thrive on the waters. In this report, 10 sites from Lake McQueeney and along the Guadalupe River were selected and their waters and sediments were tested for concentrations (in ppm) of calcium, chloride, chromium, cobalt, iron, lead, mercury, nitrate, phosphate and sulfate. In order to determine the abundance of the metals, the water and sediment samples were run through an atomic absorption spectrophotometer. The samples were chemically altered through a series of tests, specific to each anion, and run through a UV-VIS spectrophotometer in order to calculate each of the anion concentrations. Chloride was tested for in the waters by way of the Fajans Method, but the sediment, after being digested in H2SO4, was too acidic for any results to be obtained. There was no statistically significant difference in the amounts of any of the metals before and after the CMC steel plant. The anions were found in their highest concentrations at locations downstream and within close proximity of the Starcke Park golf course. It was ascertained from the results that none of the heavy metals or anions are in high enough concentrations throughout Lake McQueeney or in the Seguin region of the Guadalupe River to cause serious harm or damage to local inhabitants or the environment.