An assessment of the flow water and the resulting water quality of Lancaster Canal

Griffiths, Tom (2014) An assessment of the flow water and the resulting water quality of Lancaster Canal. [Dissertation]

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The purpose of this research is to broaden the limited knowledge of the way water moves within a canal which is virtually a self-contained water course, and how the movement of water affects the distribution of pollutants.
This study is intended to enhance the relatively limited knowledge of the processes of water within a canal. As canals are increasing in popularity, an understanding of how pollution contained within the water and how pollutants accumulate and spread throughout the canal system will become more important from a health and safety perspective.
The research methods consisted of an assessment of the water quality using parameters including dissolved oxygen, nitrates, phosphates and electrical conductivity. The full range of the parameters tested is listed in the methodology. In situ testing and ex situ laboratory testing was used to determine the level of pollutants. The flow of the canal was recorded and this information was used to determine the distribution of pollutants within the canal.
The research confirmed the belief that the movement of water in the canal would be minor yet the expected conformity of the pollution distribution to the direction of the water movement was not met.
The most important and useful findings to be taken from this investigation are that the pollution level of the canal is quite low and that the movement of water has been observed and recorded, something which is not well established in the literature on canals.
The enclosed methodology used for the collection and analysis of the water and the assessment of the movement of water was followed, the equipment was used correctly thus the findings of the water quality and the water movement can easily be replicated and are trustworthy.
From this study it has been learnt that the force of the water is very weak and has little to no impact upon the distribution of pollutants in Lancaster Canal. It was also learned that the canal is contains relatively little pollution.
A limitation is that a relatively small length of the canal was tested and the test results and water movement from this area may not be represented equally across the whole course of the canal.

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