Science Fair Project
I tried to figure out how does the Wellesley tap water compare to the water of the surrounding towns.
Before I started my test’s I guessed which town would have the best quality water without any initial data. I thought that Wellesley tap water would be the cleanest water in the area because Wellesley has the resources and the money to keep its water at a high quality.
The objective of this project is to determine water content in various drinking water supplies and then rate then from most favorable to least favorable. For this, I needed a way to test the water quality. I eventually came upon a pet store called Pet World had a fresh water testing kit. This kit called the Deluxe Fresh Lab test for several aspects of water quality such as pH, Ammonia, Nitrite, Hardness, iron, carbon dioxide, and chlorine. In my tests I did not use all the test that new kit was equipped with, I only choose the aspects that I felt were harmful to humans and aspects that I felt relevant to the initial water quality.
The towns I selected from around the Wellesley area were Natick, Weston, Needam, and Newton. I originally tested for pH, Ammonia, water hardness, nitrite, iron, water hardness, and chlorine. However, during my discussions with my mentor’s and when testing I found that testing for Ammonia, iron, and chlorine was not relevant to help me find my result. My tests involve the use of a color chart, which would, give a value to the amount of variable present in the water sample. I used distilled water as a control because the testing of the distilled water should always show the same result.
These are the different components I tested, and why they were important to the water quality. Only I have explained how on the color chart the component is measured.
pH, term indicating the hydrogen ion concentration of a solution, a measure of the solution’s acidity. The pH helps determines how corrosiveness the water is. A water source with a high pH is less likely to corrode the pipes in your home and in any other pipes which supplies water. An area with a lower pH level is more corrosive to your pipes. The composition of pH in tap water varies enormously from location to location depending on the source of the water and water treatment process.
My freshwater test kit uses Zero as most acidic and 14 as most Basic in accordance with the color chart.
Water hardness is measured by the amount of calcium and magnesium salts in water. This natural property of water is demonstrated by the fact that soft tap water foams much easier when soap is added when magnesium and salts are not presented, then in salt water or water that is hard. Calcium and magnesium salts of sulfate, nitrates and chloride are very soluble and are therefore a relatively stable component of water hardness.
The amounts in which these salts are presented are called the permanent hardness, which is part of the general hardness. The parts that consist of salts that have a low solubility and are therefore an unstable component of the GH. This unstable part is called the carbonate hardness or KH, Since the salts involved are carbonates of magnesium and calcium
The test kit that is used uses a system of drops in coordination with a color chart. You are to count the number of drops put into the 8 cm of water until the water turns into the color on the chart. Then you are to compare the number of drops added to another chart that shows how hard the water is.
Ammonia in water naturally occurs as the result of waist from fish. When dissolved in water it can turn the water toxic. Like ammonia, Nitrites can deem water undrinkable. Nitrites are chemicals that can be dumped or seep into the water. Nitrites are found in things like fertilizers and is a chemical used to package meat. It is important to monitor Nitrites because it has shown in tests that it can cause cancer.
The Nitrites on my on the color chart measured from 0 to 1 p.p.m (parts per million).
I originally did check for ammonia levels because ammonia is toxic to people in high levels. Ammonia is the result of the decomposition of waist products such as animals. When testing I found that the levels for the ammonia were so low that I could not tell if the test was working or not because I saw not visual results.
Iron is a mineral that is found in water all around the world. This iron could be present from mineral run off or from pollution. I deemed this not important because this did not turn out to be a prime factor in the research of water quality. What this fact means is that a lot of iron or a low level of iron does not effect water quality in quality standards. Some people prefer that there is a lot of iron and some like low levels and to some it does not matter.
Procedure: First, choose random tests sites in each of the cities selected (Wellesley, Natick, Weston, and Needam) to obtain water samples. Make sure that you mark the area that you selected because you will continue to go to these sites for the remainder of the project. These will be your test sites for every town.
Second, make sure before the collection of the water that you let the water run in the sink for at least 1 minute on cold. This prevents the collection of anything that has been sitting in the pipes of the building and that might contaminate your samples. The collection of two cups should be a sufficient to apply each test twice with enough water left over to run the tests a third time. After the water has collected the water from each test site, run the pH, water harnesses, nitrite, .Before you run the tests read the instructions that have come with the Fresh water test kit. Make sure that the appropriate amount of water and chemical are mixed together. If too much or not enough chemical and or water are used then the results will not come out correctly. Run each test twice to make sure your results were clear and there were no mistakes when testing the water. If each test comes out differently, then test a third time and whichever test comes out most like the third test should be the result you record. Remember not to wait more than a day after you collect the water because pH levels tend to change when they stay settled for awhile. With this project, distilled water is used as the control. You are able to buy distilled water at any grocery store. After I obtained a clear result with the test, make a test chart to record your results.
Third, you will be conducting the tests every two weeks so that you can see if the test variable of the water fluctuate during the three month testing period.
Last, you will rate each towns water quality using the test results for each town. Judging water is all in perspective. What I mean by this are that different people like types of water. Some like there water soft and some hard, some want things as fluoride and iron in the water and some do not. What you will do to determine the best water quality is that, you will compare your results from each town to the distilled water. The closer the sample is to the quality of the distilled water the higher marking it will get on the chart.
The town that has the highest in quality should be the town that’s samples that are closest to the distilled water samples.