Bio Classes Give Wilde Lake Failing Grade on Pollution Test
February 7, 2017
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E. That’s the grade Wilde Lake received based on the test administered by Ms. Carpenter and Mr. Mandl’s Biology classes.
This test was based on criterion provided by the Howard County Conservatory. The factors considered were Wilde Lake’s dumpsters/trash, native vs. invasive plants, pH levels of the local water source, pollution in the parking lot, and impermeable surfaces, which is an area that cannot soak up water. This causes the water to flow into storm drains.
This year, Biology classes had an opportunity to figure out why the school got an E, and how they can fix it.
According to the Howard County Conservancy, Wilde Lake did not have a problem with invasive plants, pH levels of the local water source or pollution in the parking lot, but there is a problem with the dumpsters and the impermeable surfaces around the school.
While the classes were out collecting data on the environment, Biology teacher Mr. Mandl has seen a reoccurring problem.
“Last year, [the problem] was the dumpsters. There was overflowing trash on the ground, all next to the storm drain,” said Mr. Mandl.
Sophomore Kekoa Krapf is one of the students who participated in finding the environmental problems around the school.
“There is still litter around the dumpsters like wrappers, bottles, and cans. But besides there being litter on the ground, [the litter] also goes into the storm drains. The dumpsters are too close to the storm drain,” said Krapfl.
Another problem, according to science teacher Ms. Carpenter, is that there is no tree coverage, and this leads to the impermeable surfaces.
“There are too many impermeable surfaces and too much open space,” said Ms. Carpenter. “With the construction of the new school and apartment buildings, there is less tree coverage.”
With water not being soaked into the ground, the rain will wash the overflowing litter from the dumpsters into the storm drain, polluting the Little Patuxent watershed.
Biology classes last year came up with and implemented the idea of adding an additional dumpster to prevent trash overflow.
Although there is no simple solution to this year’s issue, the classes came up with the idea of improving the rain garden. They plan to restore and expand the garden later this year and this will help more water to soak into the ground.