Winning science projects focus on water quality

ENCINITAS — Paul Neumann and James “Gunner” Oury, seventh-grade students at the Rhodes School, were recognized by Olivenhain Municipal Water District’s board of directors at its April 20 meeting for their projects in the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair that studied local water quality. Neumann and Oury were each presented with OMWD’s “Water in Science” Award and a prize.
Paul is a Boy Scout who enjoys many recreational activities at Camp Pendleton. After hearing reports that a water source on Camp Pendleton had been contaminated, Paul took on his project to ensure the safety of Camp Pendleton’s water sources by which to protect troops stationed there. Samples were collected at sites on base and tested for several metals, including iron, lead, and copper. Paul plans to share his results with Camp Pendleton administrators.
Gunner regularly crosses Escondido Creek near the barn at which his quarter horse is kept. He expressed concern that runoff resulting from rainstorms boost the creek’s bacteria levels. Because of his findings indicating that bacteria levels may at times be unhealthy for plants and wildlife along the creek, he hopes to continue his study. Additionally, his project was nominated for the 2011 California State Science Fair.
The Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair was held March 22 through March 27 at the Balboa Park Activity Center. This is the third year in which OMWD has joined forces with the fair to recognize the achievements of local students.
OMWD includes portions of the cities of Encinitas, Carlsbad, San Diego, Solana Beach, and San Marcos, as well as the communities of Olivenhain, Leucadia, Elfin Forest, Rancho Santa Fe, Fairbanks Ranch, Santa Fe Valley and 4S Ranch.

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