Young hydrologists from the ecological team “Eco+” of school No. 59 in the city of Penza studied the condition of the “Flower” spring in the city Park of Culture and Leisure named after. V. G. Belinsky. The schoolchildren took their work very seriously within the framework of the “Springs of the Russian Geographical Society” project, eventually receiving the results of this scientific research.
Project participants Margarita Maslova, Valeria Konkina and Daria Arkhipova, together with geography teacher Natalya Filatova, used special devices to test water: a mini-express laboratory “Pchelka-U/bio” and a TDS meter (a device for measuring the concentration of dissolved solids). Analyzes showed that the total content of chemical elements does not exceed the norm; the presence of sulfates, chromates, active chlorine and nitrates is observed.
In terms of pH, the water of the “Flower” spring is slightly acidic. Its mineralization is 0.43 mg/l, which is approximately three times higher than that of tap water.
— Our school ecological team “Eco+” has been studying the “Flower” spring for several years. The spring was captured, but over time the water did not flow into the pipe, but flows out freely, – Valeria Konkina said.
When constructing a profile of the area using a topographic map, it is clear that the relative height of the source is 20–27 m, the absolute height is 230 m. According to the summary stratigraphic column, at this depth there are light gray sands with quartz layers of sandstones and opoka (microporous flint rock). The source can be classified as contact springs of ground pore water. Contact springs are formed when erosion cuts open the contact of highly permeable rocks with weakly permeable or water-resistant ones. In this case, the water comes to the surface on the slopes of the ravines.
In addition, based on the observations received by schoolchildren in 2022, one more conclusion can be drawn: the water temperature and salinity in the “Flower” spring are changing. These changes are associated with differences in precipitation and water flow. To determine the type of spring, the depth of the aquifer layer and the characteristics of the rocks, school ecologists used the Google Earth program and the summary stratigraphic column of the city of Penza.
The “Flower” spring, together with other springs, flows into the underground river Shelakhovka. There is no debris around it, but there is an accumulation of it downstream.
Environmental and socially significant project “Springs of the Russian Geographical Society” designed to attract public attention to the problems of spring water pollution. Its goal is to create a unified network of well-maintained springs with proven water quality. In 2023, the list of project participants included the Krasnoyarsk Territory, Moscow, Orenburg, Penza, Pskov, Rostov, Sverdlovsk and Ulyanovsk regions, Bashkortostan and Tatarstan.