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What's in my Water?

posted Sep 20, 2013, 7:27 AM by School Publications   [ updated Sep 24, 2013, 9:18 AM ]

Chemistry Water Testing Trip

Have you ever wondered, what is in my water?  I know a lot of us realize that bacteria and other germs inhabit our water sources, but just how much is harmful and how much is ok?  What can you do to help keep your water clean?  The World Water Monitoring Challenge or the WWMC has a goal to inform everyone about what's in their water, and what they can do to help.  A national observance day is set up on September 18th annually, but you can test anytime from March 22nd to December 31st. On these days people around the world will be testing their water.  The Brownstown Chemistry class has decided to participate in the project and they are excited about what they might discover!

According to the world will test five elements: dissolved oxygen (DO), pH levels, temperature, turbidity/cloudiness and percent saturation. Over 46,000 people participate worldwide, with countries such as Liberia, Kenya, and even Zimbabwe!  Some countries will even test in four different areas: residential, commercial, agricultural, and industrial.  After this national day started in 2007,  South America had the highest DO levels, Africa had the highest pH and warmest water, and Asia had the highest turbidity.  The same year, the United States had the most participants with a whopping 64%!  Every year the numbers only rise, which is great news for the WWMC.   

It is important for Brownstown High School to be informed too, which is why Mrs. Wakefield is taking her chemistry class on an adventure to test Vandalia Lake's water. The results were quite interesting. Three groups did their own tests, then the class calculated the average results. The dissolved oxygen was recorded at 4ppm (Parts Per Million), the pH was 7.5,  the temperature held steady at a 26.3 degrees Celsius, the turbidity was a 40 JTU (Jackson Turbidity Units), and the percent saturation was calculated at 49%.  The BHS chemistry class found out what was in their water, and they encourage everyone else to do the same.

by Michaela Walk