Date of Graduation


Level of Access

Restricted: Campus/Bates Community Only Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Department or Program

Environmental Studies

Number of Pages


First Advisor

Tom Wenzel


The aim of this thesis was to determine a viable procedure for measuring trace amounts of dissolved ammonia in Lake Auburn, Lewiston and Auburn’s drinking water source. Several years ago, a large portion of the fish population in the lake died to unknown causes. An investigation of potential toxins led them to believe that ammonia could have been the cause as at high concentrations, it is toxic and potentially lethal to fish. It is important to investigate and measure dissolved ammonia to understand the potential ramifications of the fish population. According to the Lake Auburn Water District, the concentration of dissolved ammonia ranges from 10-30 ppb. Three procedures were attempted to measure ammonia: Kjeldahl distillation with colorimetry, phenolhypochlorite colorimetry, and direct measurement using an ammonia ion selective electrode. 13 Unfortunately the Kjeldahl procedure did not yield any results. However, the other two methods were effective and successful. The efforts to prepare and evaluate the viability of these procedures will be described.


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