Water Analysis Essay

Submitted By wanone
Words: 3363
Pages: 14

50902 Physical Sciences | Assessment 1: Water Analysis. | |

Student Number: 201203310
Word count: 2461
22/02/13 |

Laboratorial analysis of three differing sites along the River Tees in terms of pH, salinity, conductivity, dissolved 02, ammonia and nitrate concentrations with comparisons drawn against EU Drinking Water Directive (98/83/EC).
Water samples taken from three separate sites along the River Tees namely the University of Durham, Stockton site (NZ449190), Bowesfield Industrial Estate (NZ447173) and Queen Elizabeth Way (NZ440157) where analysed in terms of PH, salinity, conductivity and dissolved O2 concentration. Further analysis regarding NO3 and NH3 concentration was also undertaken. Through the use of strict water quality standards derived from the EU Drinking Water Directive (98/83/EC) as applied by Northumbrian Water ,comparisons regarding these parameters were made highlighting possible anthropogenic pollution within these sites. Furthermore, satellite aerial imagery is used to further evaluate each sites surrounding area to indicate possible attributes towards the observed results. The Tees estuary flows through Teeside, a heavily industrialised conurbation and port (Jones, Turki , 1997). Through this fact the Tees has received untreated sewage and industrial effluents since the mid nineteenth century owed to the growing population and iron/steel industry within the area (Jones, Turki , 1997), leading to the Tees most polluted state within the 1970’s (Hardy et al., 1993). The anthropogenic industrialisation and the significant social/economic value of the River Tees (Jones, Turki , 1997) highlights the importance of water management and analysis allowing industrialisation and urbanisation to continue whilst monitoring the impact of each on the natural environment. In terms of industrial process, it is imperative that ph and the components of the waters carbonic rigidity (Defra, 2012) are managed and maintained to avoid lime scale build up and eventual corrosion within industrial plant machinery such as heat exchangers and boilers. The significant social value of the River Tees is highlighted through its use for drinking, cooking, washing , sanitation and agricultural methods such as irrigation (Fry, 2006). Increases in agricultural, industrial and anthropogenic usage of water can result in high environmental costs, such as loss of biodiversity (Fry, 2006). Through the introduction of primary sewage treatment and a reduction in industrial discharge through implementation of the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (Defra,2012), improvements in the Tees water quality have been observed (Shillabeer, Tapp, 1989).

Site Description
Six individual sporadic samples were collected at each of the three sites along the River Tees (fig.1). Site A was a largely urbanised business park (fig.1a) whilst site B could be considered less urbanised with predominantly industrial land use (fig.1b). Site C was situated in a rural location surrounded by open fields and grassland (fig.1c).
Sample site A: University of Durham – Stockton site (NZ449190)
Sample site C: Queen Elizabeth Way (NZ440157).
Sample site B: Bowesfield Industrial Estate (NZ447173).

Figure.1: Satellite aerial image outlining geographical location of each sample site adapted from (UK Grid Reference Finder, 2008).

Figure.1a: Sample site A, University of Durham, Stockton Site(NZ449190).

Figure.1b: Sample site B, Bowesfield Industrial Estate (NZ447173).

Figure.1c: Sample site C, Queen Elizabeth Way (NZ440157).

Sample analysis was conducted within a laboratory using probes/meters to determine PH, salinity, conductivity and dissolved O2 concentration. The H+ or OH- ion activity and overall pH of each sample was obtained using a handheld pH meter. Conductivity, highlighting the concentration of dissolved/ionised solids was obtained using a portable conductivity meter. In…