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The Lycoming College Clean Water Institute is continuing its commitment to summer research in the community. Dr. Mel Zimmerman, CWI director and professor of biology at Lycoming, and several student interns are water monitoring on the Lower West Branch of the Susquehanna River. Interns assisting Zimmerman this summer are Zachary Bassett of Avis, Pa., Zebidiah Buck of Muncy, Pa., Michael Henao of Dover, N.J., Joshua Moore of Selinsgrove, Pa., Maxwell Olsen of Muncy, Pa., Lori Smith of Mill Hall, Pa., Alyssa Tomaskovic of Milford, Pa., and Laura Walter of Montoursville, Pa.
Each month, the interns collect samples along 12 sites between Lock Haven and Sunbury for water chemistry analysis. In addition, the interns are collecting macroinvertebrates from Rock Baskets and Hester-Dendy samples incubated in the river at Watsontown, Milton, Danville and Shady Nook. This study is part of the long-term monitoring project undertaken by Lycoming and Bucknell, Susquehanna and Bloomsburg universities.
Another project involves testing of a Sequence Batch Wastewater Treatment system manufactured by Cromaglass Corporation in Williamsport. The system treats 500 gallons of sewage per day, and the CWI is testing the new technology of a biofilm to help remove more nitrogen from the waste.
CWI faculty and interns will also be electrofishing at least 20 headwater streams in the Loyalsock, Lycoming, Pine or Muncy Creek watersheds as part of the Fish and Boat Commission's unassessed waters program. The process uses electricity to stun fish before they are caught, resulting in no permanent harm to the fish, which return to their natural state in as little as two minutes after being stunned.
The fish populations in these streams have either never been assessed or not looked at for more than 20 years. With the Marcellus Shale gas drilling in the area, the commission wanted to develop a fish population survey for these sensitive streams.
Other CWI news:
Lycoming College interns educate local elementary students and help with fish restoration project
sampled brook trout