Department or Program

Environmental Studies


Through chemical methods using colormetric analysis the total phosphorus (TP) levels of a lake system such as Lake Auburn can be tested at low detection limits in the parts per billion (ppb) range. A combination of precision in glassware cleansing and using a selected set of EPA approved methods can increase the probability of gaining reproducible results for a particular method. Lake Auburn is located in Auburn, Maine, which is along the southern coast of the state and is where the cities of Lewiston/Auburn obtain their drinking water. In the past few years the Lake has been experiencing some increased algal bloom issues that have been connected to possible excess nutrient loading from the surround tributaries off of Lake Shore Drive where there has been some new development. Developing a chemical method that can contribute a reproducible standard curve for low concentrations of Total Phosphorus. This chemical analysis uses an ammonium-molybdate antimony potassium tartrate solution and ascorbic acid method, which is commonly used by water treatment plants to test for lower concentrations of phosphorus. A blue complex is formed when the phosphorus is reduced by the ascorbic acid and the absorbance can be measured on a spectrophotometer.

Level of Access

Restricted: Campus/Bates Community Only Access

First Advisor

Tom Wenzel

Date of Graduation

Spring 5-2014

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

1 pdf file


Available to Bates community via local IP address or Bates login.