SCI 207: Dependence of man on the environment
21 September 2014
Water Contamination and disinfection
Water contamination is quickly becoming an alarming issue across the world. As humans, we rely on clean water to survive, however we are rapidly heading towards a water crisis. The changes of climate patterns are threatening lakes and rivers, and key sources that we use for drinking water are being overdrawn or tainted with pollution. Clean and plentiful water is the keystone of wealthy communities. Yet as we enter the 21st century; due to human over population, swelling demand and changing climate patterns are draining rivers, aquifers and pollution and is threatening the quality of what remains.
The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is integrating our expertise in pollution prevention, water efficiency and climate change to sustain America's precious water resources by working to advance smart water efficiency policies to ensure that communities get the water they need while keeping our lakes, rivers, and streams full and healthy. Many of our water resources also lack basic protections, making them vulnerable to pollution from factory farms and industrial plants. This can definitely lead to drinking water contamination, habitat degradation and beach closures. That is why, NRDC is working to protect our water from pollution.
The purpose for the following experiments is to determine the amount of water purification changes, we as a society should make to the contaminated waters surrounding us and to see if there are ways to clean our waters without disturbing the plant, animal, and human life in these water sources. In the experiments we also discover the quality of two separate bottled waters and tap water by measuring a variety of chemical components within the water.
The contaminated water will come out clean after being filtered by taking the necessary steps and using the proper resources. Tap water contains most contaminants, while Fiji water contained the least contaminants.
Materials and Methods
For the first experiment, we tested groundwater contaminants. The materials that were used were eight 250 ml beakers, three wooden sticks used for stirring, 100 ml graduated cylinder, 10 ml of vegetable oil, 10 ml of vinegar, 10 ml of liquid laundry detergent, 100 ml beaker, 240 ml of soil, funnel, cheesecloth, and water. I started by using a marker and labeling number one through on the eight 250 ml beakers. Moved beakers five through eight to the side, filled beakers one through four with 100 ml of water using the 100 ml graduated cylinder to help measure the water. In beaker number two I poured approximately 10 ml of vegetable oil and stirred thoroughly using one of the wooden stir sticks. In beaker number 3 approximately 10 ml of vinegar was added and stirred thoroughly. In beaker number four 10 ml of liquid laundry detergent was added and was also stirred thoroughly. I recorded my observations of beakers one through four in Table 1. Then for the second part of the experiment I cut the cheesecloth into four pieces and folded them so that it was four layers thick. I placed one piece of cheesecloth into the funnel and measured 60 ml of soil using the 100 ml to help measure the soil and poured that into the funnel. Taking beaker number one I poured the contents into the funnel and let that filter into beaker number five. I used the same technique as above and repeated the same procedure to beakers number two through four and poured them into beakers number six through eight. Once this was done I observed beakers five through eight and wrote down my observations in Table 1. For the second experiment, we tested water treatment. To obtain my results of water treatment I had to take the following steps and materials. I started by taking a cheesecloth and folding it into