Water Quality Improvement Through Community Campus Partnerships

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Wea-Osage Restoration Project

Fort Scott Community College of Miami County staff Buddy Jo Tanck and Harriet Jack directed a service-learning project to address the flooding of Paola streets and subsequent run-off into local streams. Participating in the service-learning project were three undergraduate students from Professor Harriet Jack’s General Biology course.

The activities consisting of the refurbishment of the flooding area was named the Wea-Osage Restoration Project (WORP) and an advisory board consisting of interested parties (e.g., Kansas Department of Health and the Environment, City of Paola, etc.) was created. The goal of the WORP is to determine solutions for the stormwater run-off and the creation of an environmental park.

The students in Professor Harriet Jack’s course tested the water in streams, ponds, and stormwater drains for ambient temperature, water temperature, pH level, phosphorus, ammonium nitrogen, chlorine, nitrate, oxygen, and E. coli bacteria in five sampling locations near the Fort Scott Community College campus. The students found variation in the five sites and could not determine which site was the most polluted (e.g., Site 1 had the highest pH readings, Site 2 contained the most ammonium nitrogen, Site 4 had the highest level of phosphorus). These results were emphasized as baseline results and more testing will need to be done in the future. At the time of the presentation, the students were unable to provide the results of the E. coli bacteria test due to the incubation time necessary.