TU Graduate Student Teaching Others To Test Water Quality


Saturday, September 26th 2020, 10:43 pm
By: Amelia Mugavero


TULSA, Okla. -

A student scientist is leading a growing movement in Tulsa to fight for better water quality.

Lauren Haygood, 22, said there are quite a number of pollutants in this river, but she's on a mission to change that.

"I think it’s fascinating that you can look at a river and do these tests and actually find that even if it looks OK and pretty, it actually is unhealthy," Haygood said.

Haygood said there is a statewide effort by the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality over the summer to get the public involved with testing their local water for metal and bacteria.

Haygood said her opportunity to make a difference is now, ahead of the city’s upcoming construction project to make the Zink Dam operational again.

The Zink Dam project, Haygood said, could worsen water quality.

"I think water quality has been an issue for people for Oklahoma, specifically with the Arkansas River and the construction of the Zink Dam,” Haygood said. “People who live on these water systems see much more of the impact of the water quality.” 

Haygood held her first public water sampling event Saturday at Arkansas River. Haygood taught more than 20 people how to use kits to test water.

Activist Erin Brockovich gave Haygood a shout out on Facebook, commending her for making a difference. 

"She even wrote a book on what this whole project initiative is about, which was really cool to have that publicity," Haygood said. 

Haygood said she can submit water tests to the state and federal water quality data reports. She is planning on hosting a citizen water quality event every other weekend on the Arkansas River for the next six months.