Filtration Effects of Cattails

Our objective was to determine if cattails (Typhaceae) did filter ammonia in the water they were exposed to, as previous research showed. If cattails do reduce ammonia levels of the water source they live in, then their presence may be beneficial in the natural environment and for the treatment of wastes in water plants. We performed our experiment by taking cattails from four different water sources and applying two different treatments of ammonia to them. We tested high and low levels of concentrations of ammonia and called one level "normal," these were the plants with no additional ammonia added. We collected samples of the water filtered through the cattails each week to test the ammonia levels over a period of five weeks. Our results showed that the ammonia levels were reduced over the five weeks due to the filtration properties of the cattails. We concluded that the cattails from the Ryan and 15 Mile Area filtered the most ammonia through their system because our data consistently showed that the ammonia levels were low when compared to cattails from other locations. This may have been due to the industrial location these cattails were at, making them more resilient to ammonia. Our results are accurate and may be applied to other scientific research because our data shows that cattails do filter and clean harmful products from water. If someone wants clean water in an environmentally safe way, then cattails may be planted to filter out the chemicals.

Research Done By:

Kathryn Banach
Sterling Heights High School

Kristy Duprey
Warren Mott High School