Conservation is a "dirty job" as TV's Mike Rowe would say. But what job isn't? Most "clean jobs" are polluted by deadlines and unreal expectations, monotony and wage disputes, office politics, scope creep, moving goal posts, broken agreements, senseless rules, discrimination, not to mention the deterioration of health from sitting in a chair all day. Our Conservation Rangers can't clean up your job, but what we can do is restore the sanctity of your own backyard where Mother Earth provides a refuge and Nature can soothe your soul.

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Erica Hall, owner Sgt. Poopers, views monthly water testing procedure

Testing Water Quality

This month Erica and I (owners of Sgt Poopers) joined up with Gary Spence and Tom Heath of For the Love of the Lake in the name of water quality management. For the Love of the Lake is a volunteer organization dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of White Rock Lake Park as an urban oasis.

Volunteers monitor dissolved oxygen content in White Rock Creek

Managing water quality is an important aspect of their mission so key members learned how to conduct water tests in 2005. Every month, volunteers test at seven locations upstream and downstream from White Rock. Reports are sent to the City of Dallas and onward to the Texas Stream Team.

Conducting the monthly visual clarity water test in White Rock Creek.

As a leading cause of water pollution, dog waste is a major threat to water quality. Dog waste contains nothing beneficial to plants or the environment – it is sheer biohazard, i.e., billions of bacteria, germs, pathogens, viruses and parasites. Rain and sprinkler systems wash dog waste from yards into storm drains that empty directly into our creeks, rivers and lakes.

The water optical test notes at what depth the target disappears from view.

In our area of Texas, some 1.2 million dogs deposit 900,000 pounds of waste daily in on the land. Only a fraction is actually picked up and disposed of properly. The vast majority winds up in the creeks, lakes polluting the very source of drinking water.

The water chemical analysis requires multiple steps.

Testing water quality is a complex procedure involving some seven separate tests, including water turbidity, acidity, conductivity, oxygen content, temperature and more. Each test is performed twice to ensure precise results.

Each water reaction test has to be performed with care.

We tested just north of the intersection of Skillman and Abrams where White Rock Creek is joined by Village Creek – two of nine tributaries that feed the lake. White Rock Creek stretches some 30 miles through North Dallas, Richardson, Plano and into Frisco. Water flowing over White Rock’s spillway travels another eight miles south before it joins the Elm Fork of the Trinity River.

Color of tested water is compared to the water color reaction key.

On the day we tested, it was just beginning to rain. We had to work quickly before the rain altered our test results. Testing water quality is where the consequences of environmental impropriety really become real. “The” water becomes “our” water.

Tags: Sgt Poopers, Dallas, Texas, Conservation, Water Quality, Water Pollution, White Rock Lake, For the Love of the Lake, Storm Water

Dallas Stormwater Management
Lee Park Conservancy
For the Love of the Lake
Thanksgiving Square
Doughertys Pharmacy
SPCA Texas
Operation Kindness
Lakewood Service League
Strut Your Mutt
Walk Wag and Run
Dog Day Afternoon
White Rock Lake Foundation Festival


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