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Water Quality and Contamination Essay


Experiments were done on the water quality and the contamination of groundwater. First, I observed the effects that different pollutants had on groundwater. I predicted that the experiments with the oil and vinegar would create the most contaminations to the water. When the laundry detergent were mixed with the groundwater, it created a light green color with a pleasant smell. The second water treatment experiment were about filtering techniques to remove contaminants from water. I predicted to drain the water by removing all the contaminants by using a funnel to purify the water. The last experiment were performed using Dasani, and Fiji bottled water and Tap water to determine the quality of drinking water. I also predicted that tap water would leave the least amount of contaminants and the Fiji bottled water would have the most contaminants. There were three different steps to this experiments to determine the final hypothesis.

The first experiment were the effects of groundwater contaminations, the next experiment were the water treatment and the final experiment were the drinking water quality. There is a variety of sampling substances and procedures used to purify the water. The objective of groundwater sampling were to determine what effects do contaminants have on our water supply. The quality of drinking water has for many years been given more attention. Particles of various metals such as lead and copper could be entering our drinking water supplies and creating a hazard. One of the most important characteristics of our society today is the quality of our drinking water. Over 50,000 people each year in Africa die due to poor drinking water habits (Roman, 2009). I predicted when mixing oil with the groundwater, the oil would continue to stay on top of the surface. I also predicted when mixing vinegar with groundwater, the vinegar creating a distinctive odor.

Next, I predicted that when mixing liquid laundry detergent with groundwater, the liquid soap created a light green color creating a pleasant smell. In experiment 2, I predicted to remove all contaminants from the water, by using a funnel with a piece of cheese cloth to purify the water. In experiment 3, I predicted that the tap water would have the least amount of contaminants and the Fiji bottled water would have the most contaminants. In experient 1 effects of groundwater contamination, there were a variety of materials used such as: (8) 250ml. beakers, (3) wooden stir sticks, 100ml. graduated cylinder, 10ml. vegetable oil, 10ml. vinegar, 10ml. liquid laundry detergent, 100ml. beaker, 240ml. soil, funnel, cheesecloth, water, scissors, and a permanent marker. First you need to fill beakers 1-4 with 100ml. of water using 100ml. graduated cylinder and record your observations of the water in beaker1 by smelling the solutions. (Remembering to use a safe wafting techniques).

Next, add 10ml. of vegetable oil to beaker2 and mix well using a wooden stir and record observations. Then add 10ml. of vinegar to beaker3 and mix with wooden stir and record observations. Next add 10ml. of liquid laundry detergent to beaker4 and mix with a wooden stir and record observations. Next in experiment 1, you need to cut the cheesecloth into five different pieces and fold one piece making a piece 4 layers thick and big enough to line the inside of the funnel. Next place the piece of cheesecloth inside the funnel. Next measure 60ml. of soil using the 100ml. beaker and place it inside the cheesecloth lined funnel and place the funnel inside beaker5. Then pour the contents of beaker1 water through the funnel filtering it into beaker5 for one minute and record your observations.

Next throw away the cheesecloth and soil out of the funnel. Then next, repeat the same steps using the remaining cut up pieces of cheesecloths doing the same steps for beakers 2, 3, and 4 and record observations. (Filtering the contents of beaker2 into beaker6, beaker3 into beaker7, and beaker4 into beaker8). In experiment 2 water treatment, this experiment is done using one method to filter and purify contaminated water. You will need items such as: 100ml. potting soil, (2) 250 ml. beakers, (2) 100ml. beakers, alum, funnel, cheesecloth, bleach, 40ml. sand, 100ml. gaduated cylinder, 20ml. activated charcoal, 60ml. gravel, a wooden stir stick, stopwatch, and water. First add 100ml. of soil into the 250ml. beaker and fill to the 200ml. mark with water. Next pour the soil solution back and forth between two 250ml. beakers for a total of 15 times.

After the solution is created, pour 10ml. of the now contaminated water into a clean 100ml. beaker. (this sample is used to compare to the treated water at the end of the filtration process). Next, add 10grams of alum to the 250ml. beaker that contains the contaminated water. Slowly stir the mixture with wooden stir for 1-2 minutes and let sit for 15 minutes. Meanwhile rinse out the empty 250ml. beaker and place the funnel into the clean beaker. Then fold a piece of cheesecloth making it 4 layers thick and big enough to line the funnel and place it inside the funnel. Next begin layering the funnel by pouring 40ml. of sand into the cheesecloth lined funnel. Then pour 20ml. activated charcoal and 40ml. gravel in the funnel using the 100ml. beaker to measure the amounts. To solidify the filter, pour slowly clean tap water through the filter until the funnel is full. Next throw away the rinse water from the beaker and repeat four more times.

Then place the funnel on the top of the beaker and let it sit there for 5 minutes before emptying the beaker. Now without mixing up the contaminated water jar, pour 3/4 of the contaminated water into the funnel and let it filter through the funnel into the beaker for 5 minutes and notice the smell of the filtered water comparing it to the 10ml. sample taken from the mixture earlier. Next remove the filter and add a few drops of bleach into the filtered water in the beaker and stir slowly for 1 minute. Since now the contaminated water has been filtered, compare the treated water with the 10ml. sample of the contaminated water and record your observations. In experiment 3 drinking water quality, I will test the quality of two different types of bottled water and tap water using materials such as: Dansani bottled water, Fiji bottled water, ammonia test strips, chloride test strips, 4 in 1 test strips, phosphate test strips, iron test strips, (3) 250ml. beakers, parafilm, pipettes, (3) foil packets of reducing powder, stopwatch, permanent marker and water.

First you must label the (3) 250ml. beakers with Tap water, Dasani, and Fiji, and pour 100ml of each type of water into the beakers name. Next place an ammonia test strip with the pads down into the tap water and move it up and down for 30 seconds. Next remove the test strip shaking off excess water and then hold level with pad side up for 30 seconds. Read the results of the strip pads by turning it away from you and comparing the color of the small pad to the color in the chart in your assignment. Next repeat the same procedures for the Dasani and Fiji bottled water and record all results. Then you must follow all the directions using the chloride test strips, the 4-1 test strips, phosphate test strips, and the iron test strips to find the results of each and record. ( remember to compare each result to the color chart in your assignment).

Based on the results of all three experiments, there were many observations and data provided such as for experiment 1: In beaker (1) the water were clear with no odor, beaker (2) water were cloudy with the oil sitting on top of the water with no odor, beaker (3) water had a slight odor, and in beaker (4) water were cloudy with a light green color with a pleasant smell with bubbles on top of the water. In beakers 5 through 8 the results were a little different such as: in beaker (5) the water were brown in color with a dirty ordor, beaker (6) water were brown in color with a oily and cloudy look, beaker (7) water were brown in color with a cloudy strong odor, and in beaker (8) the water were dark brown in color with a light film of soapy bubbles in the soil. The results for experiment 2 included how to remove contaminants from the water and purifying it, by using many different ingredients such as: 20ml. of activated carbon, 10ml. of alum, 40ml. of sand, and 20ml. of gravel and a cheesecloth layered funnel.

The differences between the contaminated water and treated water were the contaminated water had a greyish color with no smell and the treated water had a clear color with a strong smell. The results of experiment 3 the drinking water quality were tested with three different types of water using tap water, Dasani, and Fiji bottled water. The results were compared from the test strips to the color codes in the chart in the end of your assisgnment. The Fiji bottled had a higher phosphate level than the Dasani and tap water. The tap water had the highest ammonia level. The chart graph that were used for the comparison of the colors had two columns, the first column listed each different test strips and the second column had a range of colors that listed from 0 meaning white, 10-tan, 30-light tan, 60-medium tan, 100-light brown, 200-medium brown, 400-dark brown for ammonia.

Chloride test strips used similiar blocks with same colors ranging from 0, 500, 1000, 1500, 2000, and 3000. 4 in 1 test strips the chart were different in color with the first row listed such as: pH, total Chlorine, total Alkalinity, and total Hardness. The second row of blocks ranged in color for the pH level were dark brown to dark blue level ranging from 0-14. For chlorine level the color ranged from medium green to a dark green ranging from 0-10.0. For the Alkalinity level the colors ranged from a light yellow to aqua blue ranging from 0-500. For the Hardness level the colors ranged from a soft light bown to a very hard deep purple ranging from 0-1000.

The chart results for the Phosphate test strips ranged from white in color to a blue, ranging from 0-100. For the Iron strips the colors ranged from a light pink to dark purple ranging from 0-5. In conclusion, there has been three different experiments prepared and done to determine how different contaminants could effect our groundwater, and our drinking water. There were also an experiment done on how to purify our drinking water and what water had the most contaminants in it. Today we all need and must have a good and safe drinking water supply.


Roman, H. T. (2009). Quality of Drinking Water. Technology Teacher, 69(2), 13-15. Selhorst, A. (2013). Outline of the final lab report template [Word file].College of Liberal Arts. Ashford University. Selhorst, A. (2013). Week two lab reporting form [Word file]. College of Liberal Arts.

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