Course Work: Effects of Groundwater Contamination. Water Treatment. Drinking Water Quality.

Date:  2021-06-21 23:46:32
5 pages  (1188 words)
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Sewanee University of the South
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Course work
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Experiment 1: Effects of Groundwater Contamination

This experiment aimed at establishing the effects of adding a contaminant in pure water. The control experiment was pure water which was not added anything. The other beakers of pure water were mixed with vegetable oil, vinegar, and laundry detergent. The four beakers were then observed for changes in colour and smell. The beaker where no contaminant was added had its water remaining with the same colour and smell. The other three beakers had their water changing both the colour and smell as per the given item added to it.

From this experiment, it is evident that any item can cause contamination when added to pure water. In real life, there are several pollutants that can reach to the groundwater and cause high contamination to the water. These pollutants are mainly the items that human beings use in their daily activities, for example, the washing detergent. Most individuals have a habit of pouring the dirty water, that has been used for some purpose and contain some chemical pollutant, directly to the ground. This water then infiltrates into the ground. Also, when it rains, the rainwater hastens the infiltration of the contaminated water. Thus it reaches the groundwater and contaminates it as well.

Groundwater is what most people use for drinking, cooking, bathing as well as other functions. When this water is contaminated, it can affect humans in several ways since it is piped directly to homes without treating it well first (Lapworth, Baran, Stuart, & Ward, 2012). First of all, contaminated water has been proven as the main reason for the transmission of diseases such as cholera, dysentery, diarrhea, polio and typhoid. Statistics estimates have shown that contaminated drinking water causes up to approximately 500,000 deaths every year. Also, the contamination of water paves a way to tropical diseases such as intestinal worms, trachoma, and schistosomiasis. These diseases affect more than one and a half million individuals yearly (Lapworth, Baran, Stuart, & Ward, 2012).

These effects are supported by results of some studies that have suggested that half of the beds in the worlds hospital are occupied by individuals suffering from water-related diseases. The diseases are as a result of no sufficient water for drinking. Because of this, it will be a good idea to put in place the most appropriate and effective measures of preventing water contamination as well as treating the already contaminated water well before it is used.

Experiment 2: Water Treatment

This experiment was aimed at establishing the best process of treating water that will ensure that all the pollutants are gotten rid of. Filtration is seen to be the best process of removing soil particles from water. This experiment, therefore, involved filtering water in a process similar to how it is filtered in the various facilities of water treatment. The aim of the experiment was to understand the measures that are taken to purify drinking water making it safe for human health.

The experiment involved adding soil and some other provided content to the water. Some of the water is then treated through the process of filtration while some amount is left contamination. After the process, the two water samples are compared based on their appearance and smell or odor. This comparison is meant to show the effects of filtering water and to establish whether filtered water tastes good and is suitable for drinking.

Most people prefer to purify their drinking water through the process of filtration. The reason for this is that filtration is the most effective method of removing the particles and minerals that may affect how the water tastes. To enhance effective filtration, certified filters that come in various sizes and shapes are recommended to be used. The certification involves the manufacturer of the filters being able to specify the amount of water that can be treated by the filter before it is changed. Some filters are designed in a manner that they have a device that indicates when the filter has to be changed. Also, changing the filter is a very critical procedure that should be done carefully so as to ensure that nothing impure get to the water compartment. It is also advisable to use a certified filter cartridge (Chong, Jin, Chow, & Saint, 2010).

Following the recommended steps of filtration and changing of filters is beneficial to humans. It is also good to choose a filter which is best for ones needs and whose operating technology is not complex for the user (Chong, Jin, Chow, & Saint, 2010). Observing all the specifications will always ensure that the filtration process will result in pure and tasty water suitable for drinking.

Experiment 3: Drinking Water Quality

The experiment was aimed at establishing the difference between the chemical composition of some types of bottled water and tap water. The aim was to ascertain whether there are health benefits that come with drinking of bottled water as opposed to tap water.

The experiment involved testing of the level of compounds like chloride, phosphate ammonia and iron in the two water samples. 4 in 1 test was also carried out to establish the level in both types of drinking water. The levels of the compounds found in each test are then compared to the two water samples so as to determine which sample of water is best for drinking compared to the other sample.

From the results, both water samples contained some considerable amounts of the compounds tested. Tap water for instanced contained much chloride compounds since it is usually treated with chlorine. This discovery means that it is much safer than the bottled water since chlorine kills the bacteria.

As far as the health and safety nature of bottled water is concerned, studies have suggested that it has less strict regulations, unlike tap water. Because of this, it has very high chances of containing both chemical and bacterial contaminants such as carcinogens. Also, a study carried out in the year 1999 found out that some brands of bottled water had phthalates contaminants that exceeded the amount in tap water. Additionally, it has been suggested that the plastic containers can leak the plastics to the water when exposed to warm or hot temperatures (Viessman, Hammer, Perez, & Chadik, 2009).

The results of the experiment can be said to suggest that tap water is better for drinking compared to bottled water. The result does not mean that individuals can start believing that the tap water is safe for drinking and stop treating it. It is always nice to be sure that the drinking water is of the recommended quality and is safe for human health. Everyone should, therefore, ensure that the water they are using every day is as free from both chemical ad bacterial contaminants as possible.

 

References

Chong, M. N., Jin, B., Chow, C. W., & Saint, C. (2010). Recent developments in photocatalytic water treatment technology: a review. Water research, 44(10), 2997-3027.

Lapworth, D. J., Baran, N., Stuart, M. E., & Ward, R. S. (2012). Emerging organic contaminants in groundwater: a review of sources, fate and occurrence. Environmental pollution, 163, 287-303.

Viessman, W., Hammer, M. J., Perez, E. M., & Chadik, P. A. (2009). Water supply and pollution control. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.

 

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