'Citizen Scientists' sought for water quality experiment
Published Wednesday, August 16, 2017 5:26PM EDT Last Updated Wednesday, August 16, 2017 7:05PM EDT
Have you ever wanted to be a scientist but lack the education or know-how? This weekend is your chance to test the waters.
The Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research is looking for 1,000 citizens to help them with a massive water quality experiment.
"It's going to give the impetus to go from the old coliform approach, which saved a lot of lives, make no mistake, to something that's even better," says Dr. Daniel Heath, who leads up a team of researchers at GLIER.
Heath says the way of testing currently adopted by local agencies like the health unit is fairly accurate, but recent data collected and analyzed shows just how fast water quality levels can change.
The scientists are looking for 1,000 ‘citizen scientists’ who are being asked to collect a single sample from a body of water of their choosing, anywhere in the county -- this Saturday. They should then return them to GLIER for analysis.
Heath’s team will test the water with ‘genetic sequencing’ which could help identify e-coli hot spots in our region.
"What we're doing now is the next step in water safety. And I think it's bound to happen, it's just how is it going to be implemented," says Heath.
The end result could be less beach closures and more timely and accurate results.
"Half the time the beaches are closed and we're so sad,” says Subba Rao Chaganti of GLIER. “But if they're not really pathogens, and we could open more time, the kids will be more happy and be able to enjoy the facilities near us."
If you want to take part in the experiment, here is a list of locations and times to pick up the test kits.
1. Office of Brian Masse M.P. (1398 Ouellette Ave., Windsor)
2. Belle River’s Lakeview Park West Beach (River St., Lakeshore)
3. Colchester Beach (100 Jackson St., Colchester)
4. Essex Region Conservation Authority office (360 Fairview Ave.W, Suite 311 Essex)
5. Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research (2990 Riverside Dr. W, Windsor)
6. Leamington Kinsmen Recreation Complex (249 Sherk St., Leamington)
· Bottle Collection: Thursday and Friday, August 17 and 18 from 4 to 6 pm.
7. Point Pelee National Park (1118 Point Pelee Dr., Leamington)
· Bottle Collection: Wednesday-Friday, August 16 to 18 from 8 am to 9 pm