Home | Field Sites | Teacher Resources | Student Activities | Ecosystems | Program Info

Teagan K.

Teagan’s Marvelous Narrative

The name “Piney-Z” comes from the large quantity of pine trees in the area, and the Z-shaped land configuration. The people of Tallahassee are spending lots of money trying to fix a decades-old problem in the Lake Lafayette area, including Lake Piney-Z.

Karst topography is the connection of the Florida aquifer with the sinkholes, springs, and rivers in Florida. The flow of water is as follows:

sinkhole >> aquifer >> spring or river on surface

Lake Piney-Z is part of this system. Anything that goes into Lake Piney-Z will go into the aquifer through a sinkhole, and will end up either in our drinking water or in a spring or river.

Water Quality attributes:

  • Temperature: too high or too low temperatures cause the dissolved oxygen level to fluctuate
  • Dissolved Oxygen: too much oxygen in the water causes gas bubble disease and emphysema in the fish of the water
  • pH: determines the toxicity of certain elements such as iron
  • Phosphates: are used in fertilizers; too much causes population explosions in animals and plants which increases the rate of decay which results in a low dissolved oxygen level
  • Nitrates: any major changes above 90 mg/l will kill the fish
  • Turbidity: after rainstorms, the muck and sand at the bottom of the lake mixes with the water. The fish have difficulty breathing (“it’s like breathing in a sandstorm” Dylan Sims), and the algae cannot get enough sunlight.

Eutrophication (nutrient enrichment) is a pollution problem that Lake Piney-Z is facing. The use of lawn fertilizers is causing the waters to have more and more nutrients in it. This, like having a phosphate level that is too high, will cause the population of living things in the lake area to skyrocket.

***