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What's in the Water? June 1, 2022

On the first day of June, chemist Dr. Cathy Haustein was a guest of the Pella Garden Club. Meeting at the shelter, the group sampled three locations in the park to determine water health. The water showed traces of road salt, fertilizer, and bacteria. The pH levels were normal for natural water (7-7.8) and abundant dissolved minerals were found. The water contained enough oxygen to be healthy for aquatic life. Bacteria were detected in the water near the entrance. This was also the spot where the most fertilizer was found. As Dr. Haustein demonstrated, water testing is something any citizen can do. The water in Big Rock Park will be monitored this summer and fall to assess its health and safety. The main concern was the presence of possibly harmful bacteria.

A grant from The Pella Community Foundation has made the water testing possible. Many thanks to them! (


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