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What can I do?

This is a discussion on What can I do? within the Pollution, Ecology & Chemistry forums, part of the Herpetological Science & Politics category; There is a quiet pond (one of a kind) near our place, which is literally every newt's dream. This pond ...

Pollution, Ecology & Chemistry Man made and organic pollution have drastic effects on the viability of ecosystems throughout the world. Amphibians are on the front line of this issue because they are widely believed to be the most sensitive organisms effected.

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Old 21st September 2010   #1 (permalink)
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Default What can I do?

There is a quiet pond (one of a kind) near our place, which is literally every newt's dream. This pond also happens to be where I found my four red-spotted newts. It is abundant with these, along with other amazing Northeastern US wildlife. The other day I went down there, and I saw a very shiny resin on the surface, I believe it is oil. There is much less amphibian life in there. How can I help these poor creatures suvive?!



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Old 6th October 2010   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: What can I do?

Went back down there this morning, I believe there is more oil. I could smell it off the water. This place is owned by the city. Is this even legal?



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Old 6th October 2010   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: What can I do?

I recommend you go to the city about this. To see if they will stop it. But if that doesnt work. You may be able to go to the wildlife service of your state.



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Old 6th October 2010   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: What can I do?

I noticed the same type of sheen on a slow spot in a creek I like to visit in a city own forest. But I also concluded that it was run off from the streets that are approximately 20 meters up hill from this portion of the creek. Down stream I found larval Rhyacotriton variegatus. This city/area is probably one of the most eco-friendly places in California...so it happens even in the best places.



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Old 6th October 2010   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: What can I do?

I will notify the city. Thank you!



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Old 7th October 2010   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: What can I do?

Is the pond close to any 'oil' source? Standing water can get an oily appearance on its own.



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Old 7th October 2010   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: What can I do?

As far as I know, there are not any oil sources nearby. There is water flow, but not much, it's kinda slow.



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Old 7th October 2010   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: What can I do?

I guess there could be a possibility of the water stagnating and getting a sheen to it.

It's possible the mass amounts of organisms out grew the limit the pond could hold and they either left or died off...which could also explain yucky looking water.

Algae could be choking out other filtering organisms...

there are so many things this could be if not oil run off.



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Old 7th October 2010   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: What can I do?

Dont forget that the oil can be from organic origin. Some chemicals present in several plants and organisms appear as a sheen of oil on the surface as a consequence of plant and animal decomposition. So that might be something just normal...



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Old 8th October 2010   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: What can I do?

Is it possible to test the water?



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Old 25th August 2011   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: What can I do?

Care for newts:

1. Find a place out of direct sunlight and drafts to set up your new newt habitat.
2. Rinse/wipe down the entire tank (inside and out) and all decorations with 2
percent bleach solution (NO, soaps, detergents or other cleaning materials). Let
stand over night.
3. Add 2-4 inches of dechlorinated water.
4. Add all other decorations (spognum moss, cork, wood and or rocks).
5. Install your filter and turn on.
6. Add a light if desired. Newts do not like bright light so keep the level low.
7. Allow your set up to sit overnight so that the water becomes room temperature,
between 50-75 F.




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Old 26th August 2011   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: What can I do?

I don't know if your pond gets any storm water drainage from storm sewers, but this is a problem with some ponds. If there is anything toxic on the street, it ends up in the storm sewer, and then in the pond/lake/stream, or river when it rains. Because this is an intermittent occurrence, it's hard to track. Concerned people have sometimes organized and placed bumper sticker type stickers on the storm sewers saying that whatever goes down this drain goes directly to (the lake, pond, etc.). This may help because many people probably are not aware that storm sewer water receives no sewage plant treatment.

It's always sad to see a good place in trouble. I hope your pond is OK.

-Steve Morse



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Old 26th August 2011   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: What can I do?

As eljorgo said it could be a nutural phenomenon for example iron bacteria. However the way to test if it is an oil deposit is to take astick and poke it into the water, if the oily substance flows back together immediately it's probably petroleum or something similar. If not it's more likely natural. If there is an inflow, do you know if it takes surface water drainage from other sources road drainage for example?



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