Students apply classroom skills to the environment, find positive signs in lower Storm Lake pollution trends.
It was an odd year for the Storm Lake Water Quality Protection Project and the two Buena Vista University students conducting water testing throughout the Storm Lake watershed.
Eric Bueltel and Jennifer Durham, both juniors at BVU, said for many test sites throughout Storm Lake's 19,000 acre watershed, there was little if no water.
"From July on there was nothing flowing in," Bueltel said. "We did testing on the lake itself, and there was some water in the drainage ditches but that was not going to the lake."
Dr. James Hampton, the BVU biology professor who oversees the students, agreed that it was a strange year. "We typically collect water out of tile lines and creeks in big and Little Storm Lake to see the whole watershed. For much of the summer nothing came from it. Even the creek degenerated into big mud puddles," he said. "And Little Storm Lake turned into Little Storm Prairie."
However, as far as pollutants are concerned, this year could be considered a good sign.
"Since the conservation measures have been applied, there has been reduced sediment, fertilizers and chemicals coming into the lake," said Bueltel, a Terril native.
Read the rest of this article in the 12/12 Pilot Tribune.