Chemistry

Water Testing

I saw a commercial about a documentary that talked about bottled water vs tap water and how it is a billion dollar hoax. This got me thinking about having the students carry out tests of different bottled waters and tap waters to see if there is a difference between them. Has anyone done anything like that before? What things would they test for? Any one know of a kit of some sort? I've looked on flinn and carolina and I only see things for testing natural waters. Thanks! Chris

Chris Leverington
Chris Leverington
4015 Activity Points

I had just read an article that relates (a bit) to what you are asking. It is on page 36 of the fall 2014 issue of the MSTA Journal. At least you could evaluate this one ion in various brands of bottled water as well as from the tap from different locations in your area. When Nothing Is Something: Flame-test Identification of Sodium Ion Content in Bottled Water http://www.msta-mich.org/images/pdfs/journal/MSTA%20fall%20newsletter%20final.pdf

Cris DeWolf
Cris DeWolf
11925 Activity Points

I looked at the article Chris referred to above. It does seem that the Na ion concentration in bottled water would be high enough to detect. However the test is like to get quantitative measures they used an Atomic Absorption Spectrometer. NOt something I would expect to be commonly available. I am intrigued that these students did get to use AA and wonder how they got hold of this. I very much beleive that we should be exposing students to more state of the art analytical instrumentation

Pamela Auburn
Pamela Auburn
68525 Activity Points

We have a WISP (Watershed Integrated Study Program) at my school. Students in the program test water quality every two weeks at a local stream. We use Hach kits that test dissolved oxygen, pH, total dissolved solids (TDS), alkalinity, total colliform, temperature, nitrates, and phosphates. The link below includes most of those test kits. I'd suggest writing a grant to gain access to these excellent water quality testing materials. http://www.hach.com/populartestkits

Alex Kinder
Alex Kinder
1195 Activity Points

very interesting!

Paige Tietz
Paige Tietz
2615 Activity Points

I believe this would be a very interesting experiment because we all now believe that bottled water is safer than tap water. When It can be a completely different outcome because the bottles do have chemicals in them too.

Jessica Pacheco
Jessica Pacheco
1370 Activity Points

That would be such a cool experiment! LET US HEAR THE TRUTH!! Love this experiemnt!

Larosa Etienne
larosa etienne
1220 Activity Points

This would be a very interesting experiment. I have always wanted to compare this, because where I grew up we would always drink the tap water. When I moved closer to the city, everyone said not to drink the tap water, and I didn't understand. So, instead of buying a lot of water bottles I decided to buy a Brita water filter to make sure the water I was drinking was safe. http://www.rd.com/health/wellness/rethink-what-you-drink/2/ After reading this article, I think it can make people rethink buying water bottles. Good luck with your experiment!

Michelle Alban
Michelle Alban
3095 Activity Points

As an extension to testing the quality of bottled water, it might be interesting for your students to examine the environmental implications of manufacturing, transporting, and disposing of single-use water bottles. Mary B

Mary Bigelow
Mary Bigelow
10110 Activity Points

I think this would be a really interesting experiment for the students to try. Many people go to the store and pay a bunch of money for bottled water, but if there really is no difference then people can save a lot of money. People also pay money for "high quality" bottled water. If there is no difference between tap water and bottled water, then there is also no difference between the different bottled waters.

Rebecca Jardon
Rebecca Jardon
1215 Activity Points

I am also very interested in this topic and safe water.  I am currently writing a 2 week unit plan for a group of students to test water from their homes and school and then to create a water purification system.  Any ideas for water testing and water testing kits?  Also, has anyone ever done anything like this?  If so, I would really appreciate any pointers.  Thanks!

Kaitlyn Warner
Kaitlyn Warner
1245 Activity Points

Did you carry out the unit?  How did it go?

Chris Leverington
Chris Leverington
4015 Activity Points

Looking for  environmental science resources for grade 9.Please help

Sulekha Bhasin
Sulekha Bhasin
3035 Activity Points

Looking for  environmental science resources for grade 9.Please help

Sulekha Bhasin
Sulekha Bhasin
3035 Activity Points

I have not done an experiment like this, but I have seen videos were someone is testing different bottle waters with tap water. In the videos that I have seen tap water is better than bottle water. If I wanted to do an experiment similar to this topic with my future students I will ask students to bring a water bottle from home and if they don’t have a water bottle I will ask those students to bring tap water instead. Then I will ask students to test their water with a pH strip. Students will observe their pH strip to see if their water has alkaline, neutral, or if it is acidic. Students will record their answers and then as a whole group we will talk about what they observe in their water.

Angelica Lara
Angelica Lara
1405 Activity Points

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