In the centre of Athens, Georgia, in the United States, a new type of laboratory is investigating the effects of pollution on the ecological systems of streams or rivers.
In the centre of Athens, Georgia, in the United States, a new type of laboratory is investigating the effects of pollution on the ecological systems of streams or rivers. The laboratory, known as Ecos, is described as an "aquatic eco-system simulator".
The laboratory is built around a water tank in which conditions can be varied to reproduce a variety for environmental conditions. Humidity, lighting, heat and other factors can be varied at will. Ecos is being used to investigate the effects of pesticide pollution on algae (a type of water plant life) and bacteria. Oil and mercury pollution will be studied next.
SYNOPSIS: This is Ecos, the aquatic Eco system simulator. The U.S.Environmental Protection Agency paid a million dollars for it. Ecos was built to simulate the ecology of any stream or river. Its heart is a sixty four feet long water tank, housed in a special chamber that can reproduce all environmental conditions. Air temperatures is controlled to within one degree Fahrenheit.
A unique lighting system using almost a thousand lamps provides the exact heat and light of high noon, or of a sunrise. Relative humidity is controlled within two per cent. A computer keeps tabs on all the simulators functions and varies them when necessary. Ecos is the first of its kind, and environmentalists hope it will answer a lot of water pollution questions that up to now have been unanswerable.
The first problem Ecos will tackle is the effect of pesticides pollution on algae and bacteria. Oil and mercury pollution will be studied next. The scientists hope that if Ecos proves its worth, then Washington will give them the money to build another lab simulating the ecology of standing bodies or water. It could be used to study water pollution in bays and lakes.