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Daniel Himmelberger - Metals Lab

Washington College, Chesapeake, MD

Trace Metal survey of the Muddy creek watershed

Monitoring mercury and other trace metals is important to the determination of effectiveness of current environmental legislation.  In addition, discovering the pathways for water contamination as well as additional sources of metals, natural or otherwise, is important for understanding the scope of the effects on ecosystems. In order for this type of monitoring to occur, long-term automated stations are required for the tracking of metals.  The Muddy creek watershed already has V-notch weirs setup for other types of sampling and augmentation of the existing system seems feasible.  Prior to the setup of said water sampling system, a study was done to test to current system for cleanliness and determine the parameters for the new system.  Grab samples were taken weekly from several of the weirs and analyzed for mercury and other trace metals.  Also, a rain event was sampled to match the stream's hydrograph.  Other samples were taken in the Rhode River to test the outflow of the Muddy creek watershed.  In addition to mercury and the other elements already examined, the samples will be tested for methylmercury as well as arsenic and selenium. The samples were filtered and all samples were fixed in acid.  On samples that had filtered and unfiltered samples derived from the main sample, total suspended solids were analyzed.  All samples were analyzed using an ICP-MS.