Investigation Into Water Quality and Engineering Problems Associated With the Development of Springfield, Missouri, Including a Teachers Guide For Tracing Underground Drainage Systems Such as Jones and Sequiota Springs Using Fluorescein Dyes

Date of Graduation

Fall 1977


Master of Science in Education in Secondary Education


Reading, Foundations, and Technology

Committee Chair

Vincent Kurtz


The value of out-of-classroom experiences in science education has been recognized in education literature. A review of the literature shows that the development of scientific attitudes, increased understanding of scientific methodology, and gains in critical thinking were achieved using outdoor class experiences. This study was designed as a handbook to aid teachers in helping students define and solve an outdoor classroom problem. The study investigates the problems associated with karst topography, including rapid transfer of surface water to groundwater, rapid passage of the water from the point of entry to the point of discharge, the lack of effective filtering action during the passage, and the lowering of water quality by the expansion of a large urban area (Springfield, Missouri). The study traced the underground drainage system of the two largest springs in Springfield (Jones and Sequiota) by using fluorescein dyes. Four new sources of Jones Spring were located which were all sinkholes that are being used for the disposal of storm runoff. The locations are the corner of Cherry Street and Cavalier Avenue, the corner of Barnes and Madison Street, six hundred feet (183 meters) north of the corner of Cherry Street and Patterson Avenue, and the corner of Cherry Street and Grandview Avenue. The effects on water quality of both springs because of the expansion of Springfield were apparent from the increased nitrate concentrations. This resulted from the introduction of low quality storm runoff and septic tank effluent entering the groundwater. These problems could be solved by stricter zoning regulations.

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© James W. Massello