Piney-Z is a part of many lakes in the Lake Lafayette
chain and is in the process of restoration. It gets its name from
pine trees found on an aerial map in the shape of a Z. It is located
east of Tallahassee about a mile away from Apalachee Parkway,
just down the road from Tom Brown Park. The land was purchased
by Tallahassee in 1995 and includes the 193-acre Piney-Z Lake
and also 407-acres of surrounding property. After the restoration
of the lake, it will be knows as Piney-Z Fish Management Area,
and the surrounding area will be open to the public for biking,
picnicking, hiking and wildlife viewing. The city is also planning
to build a bike/walking trail behind the back of Piney-Z that
will join Piney-Z Lake Park and Tom Brown Park. This will provide
the Piney-Z residents with convenient access to both parks. All
residents will have lake access once the park opens. Piney-Z Lake
belongs to the city of Tallahassee, and will be open to the public
as a city park.
Piney Z is a big lake surrounded by trees. It has “fingers”
that are used as a dock made out of land for the sport of fishing.
It is made out of the material that they dredged out from the
bottom of the lake to restore it. The picture below is the main
physical features of the lake and the picture was taken during
the process of the restoration, therefore you will notice that
there are still things that need to be “mowed” out
of the bottom of the lake.
The following picture is one of my group from Piney
Z doing various experiments on a finger of Piney Z Lake.
As we know man has taken over the area of Piney
Z, but we must realize that it was man that saved this lake from
dying. If these people didn’t do all of this work then the
lake wouldn’t have been there for everyone to enjoy. This
does not mean that we should abuse it though, we should take care
of this lake that our county saved from being gone.
Florida Karst Topography:
Example 1: Tertiary Karst Topography
Example 2: Perched water system
Example 3: Marginal Region
Karst topography is defined as irregular topography, or the shape
and physical features of a land, characterized by sink holes,
streamless valleys, and streams that disappear underground. They
are all developed by action of surface and underground water in
soluble rock such as limestone. Florida is the best example for
karst topography because of our abundant supply of limestone,
which is a very soluble rock.
Eutrophication is the gradual increase in the concentration of
phosphorus, nitrogen, and other plant nutrients in an aging aquatic
ecosystem such as a lake like Piney Z. The productivity or fertility
of such an ecosystem increases as the amount of organic material
that can be broken down into nutrients increases; this material
enters the ecosystem mainly through runoff that carries debris.
Water blooms often develop on the surface, preventing the light
penetration and oxygen absorption necessary for underwater life;
this is a bad thing. Basically, eutrophication is when there are
too many nutrients in the water. When human activities add nutrients
to water, it is called cultural eutrophication, and theref-ore
natural eutrophication is from the nature.
The Floridan aquifer is a large layer of porous
rock hundreds of feet beneath most of Georgia's coastal plain
and nearshore waters, as well as parts of Florida and South Carolina.
An aquifer is not an underground cavern filled with sloshing water,
but rather solid rock or sediment in which the spaces between
grains of sand, silt or clay are completely filled with water.
Groundwater is not stationary; it flows vertically and horizontally
from areas of high potential energy to areas of low potential
energy. Water enters the Floridan aquifer along the Fall Line
and flows-over many years-down an energy gradient toward the coast.
But it can also flow to or from other aquifers, and discharge
or receive water from streams, lakes and wetlands. Most importantly,
our actions can change the directions of these natural flows.
And as groundwater flows into and out of other waterbodies, it
carries with it dissolved minerals, nutrients or contaminants,
sometimes having unanticipated or unintended consequences. Pumping
huge amounts of water from the Floridan aquifer, for example,
has begun to draw salt water from the ocean into the aquifer,
which could render coastal Georgia's source of high quality drinking
The following are the water quality parameters
that are important in Piney Z:
Change in temperature - For this test, water temperature is measured
at the sampling site and a mile upstream from the site to determine
the change in temperature. Most physical, biological and chemical
processes in a river are directly affected by temperature. For
example, temperature affects the amount of dissolved oxygen in
water (cold water can hold more oxygen than warm water); The rate
of photosynthesis by plants; The metabolic rate of aquatic animals;
And the sensitivity of organisms to pollution, disease and parasites.
Changes in water temperature may be the result of thermal pollution
(adding warm water to a body of water), changes in the amount
shade over the river, and soil erosion. Soil particles suspended
in water absorb heat from sunlight. Temperature is important because
cold water is better because it can hold more action, and temperature
change will lead to explanations on why certain things may be
Dissolved oxygen (DO) - Oxygen from the atmosphere is mixed in
water by waves and tumbling water. Algae and rooted aquatic plants
also put oxygen into water through photosynthesis. Most aquatic
plants and animals must have some amount of oxygen to survive.
This is important because only waters with consistently high levels
of dissolved oxygen are considered to be stable ecosystems and
able to support diverse populations of organisms. If the levels
aren't high enough then the ecosystem won't survive.
pH - Water (H2O) is composed of OH- (hydroxyl) ions
and H+ (hydrogen) ions. The pH test measures the concentration
of H+ ions, and pH values range from 0-14. A pH value of 7 is
considered neutral, less than 7 is acidic, and more than 7 is
basic. Acidic water has more H+ ions than OH- ions, neutral water
has equal numbers of H+ and –OH ions, and basic water has
fewer H+ ions than –OH ions. The pH of natural water in
the U.S. is usually between 6.5 and 8.5. Most organisms cannot
live in water that has extremely high or low pH values (more than
9.6 or less than 4.5), therefore it is important to have the proper
pH level. Things like acid rain, which is caused by nitrogen oxides
and sulfur dioxides (primarily from automobile and coal-fired
power plant emissions) that are converted to nitric acid and sulfuric
acid in the atmosphere, are factors that will change the pH levels.
These acids from the rain combine with water vapor in the atmosphere
and return to land as acid rain or acid snow. This deposition
may increase the acidity of a body of water, especially in freshwater
systems that do not have a limestone buffer. Limestone neutralizes
the effects of acid rain deposition.
Turbidity - Turbidity is a measure of water clarity.
Murky water has a high turbidity, while clear water has a low
turbidity. Suspended solids—such as soil particles, sewage,
plankton and industrial wastes—in water increase turbidity
and decrease the transmission of light. An increase in turbidity
decreases biodiversity because more turbid waters are warmer and
allow less sunlight through for photosynthsesis. Also, suspended
solids harm aquatic organisms by clogging gills, increasing susceptibility
to disease, slowing growth rates, and preventing the development
of larvae and eggs. These factors will lead to a failure in the
ecosystem and therefore has to be monitored for maintaining Piney
Total phosphates - Phosphorus is a nutrient that plants need to
grow. In most waters, phosphorus is present in very low concentrations,
which limits plant growth. However, humans add phosphorus to water
through human and industrial wastes, fertilizers, and disturbances
to land and vegetation. When human activities add nutrients to
water, it is called cultural eutrophication. Excess phosphorus
stimulates plant growth and can cause algal blooms. When this
vegetation decomposes, dissolved oxygen levels can drop dramatically,
especially near the bottom of the body of water. If there are
too many phosphates, as explained, then it can lead to many problems.
Nitrates - All plants and animals require nitrogen to build protein.
It is much more abundant than phosphorus and is most commonly
found as atmospheric nitrogen (N2). This form can't be used by
most aquatic plants, however, and must be converted to ammonia
(NH3) and nitrates (NO-3). In these forms, nitrogen acts as a
plant nutrient and can cause eutrophication. Plants are less sensitive
to changes in ammonia and nitrate levels than they are to phosphorus,
however, because nitrogen rarely limits plant growth. Sources
of nitrates added to rivers by humans include sewage, fertilizers,
and runoff from dairies and barnyards. Once again, too many nitrates
are bad for places like Piney Z.
We did measured the water quality parameters
in many ways:
For the temperature, we had a graphing calculator hooked to a
thermometer. We got the measurements of the temperature on the
calculator and then recorded in into our book.
Dissolved oxygen, pH, turbidity, phosphates, and
nitrates were measured through a special kit. We used all types
of chemicals to get our results. First we would take water from
the Piney Z Lake and then put it in a large beaker. We then got
our water from here and put it through a multitude of testing.
Through the use of the kits, with the little jars, we were able
to find all the measurements possible to conduct our experiments.