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Water and Quality Contamination Essay


Background: According to the Millennium Development Goals Report 2012, 783 million people, or 11 per cent of the global population, remain without access to an improved source of drinking water. Also the United Nations has long been addressing the global crisis caused by insufficient water supply to satisfy basic human needs and growing demands on the world’s water resources to meet human, commercial and agricultural needs (un.org). In this experiment water quality and contamination of groundwater was investigated. First, I observed the effects that many pollutants have on groundwater. I predict that in this experiment the oil and vinegar will create the large amount of contamination in the water, while the laundry detergent will just create an aroma smell to it.

Considering the smells and color to these ingredients I think that it will cause the water quality to have a bad smell and cause the water to be very cloudy. Once filtering the contaminated water, the water will be clear and purified. Second, I will experiment water treatment and filtering. I predict that once the contaminated water is treated and filtered that it will leave me with less contamination or none at all. Then for the last experiment, I will determine the difference between bottled water and tap water to discover any contamination. I predict that the tap water will be the most contaminated and with the most chemicals in it, while the bottled waters; Dasani and Fiji will be completely filtered and free of any chemicals.

Objective: The objective of groundwater sampling is to determine whether or not the quality of the water is poor or valuable enough to drink, and then it leads to decontamination and filtering. Contaminants can move from food, soil, air and water. It is important to note that groundwater and surface water may act both as pathways. Evaluation of surface and ground waters as part of contaminated site investigation studies is, therefore, a major concern.

Hypothesis: There were three different steps to this investigation to determine the final hypothesis. The first experiment was the effects of groundwater contamination, second was water treatment and third was drinking water quality. There are a variety of portable sampling devices available for the collection of groundwater, however, each application has different standards and is dependent on the contaminants. A number of different sampling devices and their being able to be used are used to determine the contamination. Techniques for the preservation and analysis of samples and quality assurance and quality control are also presented.

Materials and Methods:

Experiment #1: In order to determine my final hypothesis I had to experiment many different methods. The first method was to experiment the effects of groundwater contamination. My first step to this method was to gather all the proper materials, which included water, vegetable oil, vinegar, laundry detergent, and 240 mL of soil, cheesecloth and beakers. I started by labeling all the beakers 1-8, so that I can do comparisons and so forth. Then, I carried on to filling the beakers with water. Once adding water I then put oil, vinegar and laundry detergent into three different beakers, then mixed them and recorded my observations. After this objective was complete I drained the contaminated water into cheesecloth and recorded my observations from that as well. Experiment #2: In the second experiment, I filtered the water as to how water is properly filtered in order to purify it to drink it. The materials used in this experiment were 100 mL potting soil, beakers, 40 mL sand, 20 mL activated charcoal, 60 mL Gravel, alum, bleach, cheesecloth, funnel and graduated cylinder.

The first step I took was adding 100 mL of soil to a beaker and adding 200 mL of water to it. Then, with two beakers I went back and forth between the two with the soil and the sand. Once the solution was created I placed the newly contaminated water into another beaker. Once I completed that I added 10 grams of alum to the contaminated water, stirred it slowly for 2 minutes and waited 15 minutes for results, then recorded them. Meanwhile, I continued to experiment by putting a piece of cheesecloth into a funnel and the funnel into a beaker. On top of the cheesecloth 20 mL of sand, then 20 mL of activated charcoal, then 40 mL of gravel was added. Tap water was then ran through the mixture and waited five minutes to filter and see results. A few drops of bleach were then added to the water to create the filtered water.

Then the two results were compared. Experiment #3: In the third experiment, tap water and bottled water were tested and compared to determine if there are health benefits in drinking bottled water. The materials used for this experiment were Dasani and Fiji bottled water, ammonia test strips, chloride test strips, 4-in-1 test strips, phosphate test strips, iron test strips, beakers, Para film, pipettes, and foil packets of reducing powder. First, all three types of water were placed into three separate beakers for further testing. The first test ammonia test strips were used, and then I recorded my results, this process continued with all the other testing strips for my final hypothesis.

Hypothesis: My hypothesis was confirmed. At first I did not get much of a good response from the treatment because it was still filled with dirt. The tap water had higher levels of everything during the experiment while the treated water had none. The smell of tap was the smell of city public water while the treated water smelt like bleach. It is better the go through the filtration process. What are the steps to this process are as filtration and disinfection. In this lab I used all these steps to perform water treatment.

After this experiment my hypothesis was denied. I thought that the tap water would be the only contaminated water when it was just the most contaminated while the bottled water was indeed clear and filtered, but it was not 100% clear of all contaminants. The major differences are that tap water definitely with holds much more contaminants than bottled or filtered water. My tap water seems as if it isn’t to badly contaminated and is drinkable. I definitely believe that bottled water is a better drinking water and you cant be to safe to consume tap water.

Context: Bottled water can come from wells, springs, artesian wells, or the municipal water supply. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulate it as a food product. It is important to note that the FDAs standards are essentially the same as those set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which regulates public water supplies. In some states, however, bottled water requirements are stricter than those for tap water are (people.chem.duke). Overall, the experiments went really well and it was good to learn about the water that we intake.

Discovering the effects of groundwater contamination and the quality of water was a huge success. In these processes I discovered the importance to having filtrated water. The process in this involves many different steps, but after taking all the required steps it leads to have clean and purified water, which is benefits society health. Variables and Futures Experiments: The point of experiment one is for us to get an understanding of the difference substances that are affected on ground water.


The threat of harmful contaminants in drinking water can no longer be reasonably ignored. The correlation between contaminated drinking water and many significant diseases and health problems is far too strong to discount ( historyofwaterfilters). At the end of the day we as people need water to survive. Millions of Americans receive high quality drinking water every day from their public water systems, (which may be publicly or privately owned). Nonetheless, drinking water safety cannot be taken for granted. SDWA applies to every public water system in the United States. There are currently more than 160,000 public water systems providing water to almost all Americans at some time in their lives(water.epa.gov). It is important to know that the water you are drinking in safe and it is healthy it doesn’t matter if the water is from the bottle or the tap.

http://people.chem.duke.edu/~jds/cruise_chem/water/wattap.html http://www.un.org/en/globalissues/water/

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