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Phosphate Changes at F.W, Kent Park Lake

F.W. Kent Park is located in Oxford, Iowa. Johnson County Conservation noticed the water quality of the main lake had deteriorated. The Johnson County Conservation Board along with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources dredged the lake and created interconnecting catch basins to reset its water quality. Their goal is to track the chemical changes in the water. This testing data shows an overall reduction in phosphate levels, lower phosphate levels closer to the main lake, and higher phosphate levels in the catch basins furthest from the lake.

K.W, Kent Park, Oxford, Iowa. Testing Data: 2014–2016 and 2019–2021

Driving Question

How does water quality change over time?

Probing Questions

  • What changes do you see in the data?
  • What can cause changes in phosphate levels?
  • Looking at the data, can you determine where the locations are based on the phosphate levels?

Classroom Suggestions

Students could:

  • Compare different data parameters to find correlations.
  • Use pH data to introduce acid and base fluctuations.
  • Test water quality of their local lake or pond water.

Relevant Related Resources

Iowa Core Alignment


Plan and conduct an investigation of the properties of water and its effects on Earth materials and surface processes

Credit Info

Submitted by Cynthia Tsarpalas and Jim Glad as part of the Iowa STEM Teacher Externship program.

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