WATER QUALITY AND CONTAMINATION
Water Quality and Contamination
Three experiments were conducted to evaluate the water quality based on hypothesizes developed before experimentation. Firstly, the quality of water was determined by polluting it with oil, detergent and vinegar. Oil and detergent contaminate the water and develop an odor. Secondly, polluted water passed through treatment system equipped with all units or processes like coagulation, sedimentation, and filtration. It is proved that filtration of water is essential to remove the contaminants. Finally, tap water, Dasani bottled water, and Fiji bottled water was examined for to predict different minerals and metals such as chlorides, phosphate, hardness, and iron. The pH and quantity of chlorine were also monitored in all three samples, but both of these parameters were observed to be unrealistic with high acidity (Low pH) in tap and Dasani water as well as high level of chlorine in tap water and Fiji water. Based on the results, it is concluded that Fiji water far superior to tap water and Dasani bottled water.
Water Quality and Contamination
The need of safe and contamination free water is a fundamental human need. Unfortunately, man-made activities have severely contaminated the drinking water sources (Bashir et al., 2013; 2015). The consumption of water having chemical and other pollutants is the cause of spreading disease. For instance, an excessive amount of ammonia can develop blue baby disease among the infants by converting into nitrate and nitrites. Moreover, excessive use of fertilizers to meet the growing needs of populace also contributing in water contamination along with inadequate sanitary systems and industrial discharge into fresh body reservoirs (Katal et al., 2012). According to Xu et al. (2010), the presence of phosphate in drinking water sources needs concerted efforts for its removal due to the threats posed by it. The chlorides can develop gastrointestinal issues, and an excessive amount of phosphate, iron, and other metals, as well as salts, are not good for health. The color and odor are also essential to sustain the aesthetic appearance and make it acceptable to the consumers.
Oil and oil spills in water may have the potential to contaminate the water because of hydrocarbons. It is hard to decompose the aromatic rings introduced by the oil and consequently it may pollute soil, as well as surface and groundwater. Moreover, amines and amides contents of the oil can react with water making it carcinogenic with slow reaction of these compounds (Ordinioha & Brisibe, 2013). On another hand, vinegar is a weak acid that have no particular ill effect on the human health. The detergent contains many inorganic compounds such as bleach and builders. The chemistry of builders and bleach is complex, and it contain water sodium carbonate, sodium triphosphate, pigments, metals and so forth. These contents can pollute water bodies and hence, these contaminants are neither good for the environment nor human health. Moreover, the traces of these metals can develop carcinogenetic diseases and infertility (Nicholson-Lord, 1994).
In a bid to overcome the issues mentioned, it is deemed to monitor water resources continuously. Hence, I formulated the hypothesis in the experiment one that the oily layer is left on the water surface that will contaminate the water by the oil by changing the texture. On account of vinegar, the contaminated groundwater is used having the odor of vinegar, and I believe that it may make a foul odor. The similar application will be repeated for the detergent as it leaves chemical substance and foamy deposits on the water and I believe that water will change in color. In experiment # 2, I developed a hypothesis that I will be able to remove all contaminants by using the filtration technique and make the water drinkable. The experiment# 3 is based on the hypothesis that the most contaminated water would be the normal tap water, and the minimum contaminated is the Fiji.
Material and Methodology
The different sorts of groundwater contaminants were inspected in the first experiment. The main apparatus or glassware required in this examination were beakers, graduated cylinder having capacity 100ml, cheesecloth, funnel, and a wooden stick, etc. These measuring glasswares (beakers) were labeled from 1 to 8. The graduated cylinder was utilized to fill the initial four beakers containing 100 ml of water while rest of the beakers were kept isolated. The complete observations were made in the first beaker over the span of the investigation, and the outcome acquired were recorded. The second beaker were filled with 10ml of vegetable oil and blended. The same procedure was repeated for beaker 3 and 4, but this time, vinegar and clothing detergent were examined separately in both respective beakers. The four pieces of cheesecloth were placed in four layers to fit four funnels followed by addition of 10ml of soil. The substance contained in beakers (1-4) was transferred to the beakers in the sequence of 5, 6, 7 and 8 respectively. The results and findings were recorded in a table.
The basic objective of the experiment #2 was to examine the viability of water treatment systems. The glassware and apparatus included here consist of beakers (capacity 100 and 250 ml), wooden stick, cheesecloth etc.100ml of soil were filled in the beaker and filled by the water. The solution was poured to other beaker and repeatedly exchanged between the respective beakers for 15 times. 10ml of the polluted solution was added to 100ml capacity beaker. This is kept separate for examination with the filtered water at the end of the test. The primary substance included was 10ml of alum that consistently blended for around 2 minutes and afterward permitted to rest for 15 minutes. Activated carbon, gravels, and sand were set on the cheesecloth, and clean water was poured through it followed by the passing of polluted water through it and then the addition of bleach was made to the filtrate. All observations were made including the odor against standard shading outline and contrasted with an impure solution.
Experiment 1: Effects of Groundwater Contamination
Experiment 2 Water Treatment
This experiment was performed to evaluate the efficacy of the water treatment. A significant difference was observed after passing the water through a mixture of sand, activated charcoal and gravel compared to the polluted water sample.
Experiment 3: Drinking Water Quality
The tabulated results show a high level of contamination in the tap water compared to bottled water. The results obtained by test strips show a remarkable difference in the quality of water obtained from the tap water, Dasani, and Fiji water. The ammonia and chloride contents in all three samples were observed as zero (Table 2 and 3). Table 4 is presenting the, pH, total alkalinity, total chloride and total hardness. It shows that pH value of tap water is almost zero and Fiji water possess a pH value of 7. On another hand, total alkalinity, total chlorine, and total hardness is found 0.2,40 and zero (mg/L) in tap water. The respective contents in Dasani and Fiji bottled water were zero, zero and 50 (mg/L) respectively in the respective samples. Moreover, these contents were as high as 4, 40 and 120 (mg/L) respectively. Table 5 shows the phosphorous content having value 50, 25 and 100 (mg/L) in tap water, Dasani and Fiji bottled water, respectively. Finally, the iron result are presented in Table 6 which show zero level in all respective samples.
Based on results obtained in experiment 1, I accepted the hypothesis formulated for the oil because the oil did change the texture of the water. The oil made the water bubble up and have a greasy odor. I also accepted the hypothesis regarding vinegar because it made the water have a foul odor when added to the water. Moreover, I accepted that detergent can pollute the water by making green color and had a fresh smell to it. Based on finding regarding experiment 2, I rejected the hypothesis because this water was not drinkable. The filtration technique used helped turn the dirty water clearer, but when the bleach solution was added it became undrinkable. In the context of experiment 3, I rejected the formulated hypothesis because I found that the Fiji bottled water had higher levels of PH, Chlorine, and Total hardness than the tap water. Also, the Fiji bottled water had a higher phosphate level compared to the other water samples. Apart from having the same total alkalinity level as the Dasani water, the tap water graded out better overall than its counterparts. The phosphate content was observed the highest in the Fiji bottled water, followed by Dasani bottled water, and the least amount would be tap water
According to WHO guideline values for drinking water, the pH-value should be in the range of 6.5-7.5. Contrarily, pH in tap water and Dasani® Bottled Water was very low indicating acidic nature of water that is not following water quality standards. This may be attributed to some outdoor source of contamination. Moreover, metals such as iron is necessary in slight amount for health, but all the samples showed absolute zero value (EPA, 2016; Fewtrell & Bartram, 2001). Other minerals or salts like chloride is also not within permissible limit because of zero value except phosphate. Bottled water are assumed to contain all nutrients required by the human body, but Dasani bottled water was observed inferior to Fiji bottled water.
Chlorination is one of the best techniques for disinfection, and chlorine level should be maintained within safe limit of 0.5- 5mg mg/L. The recommended residual chlorine level is 0.5 mg/L to keep the water free from pathogens (Fewtrell & Bartram, 2001). Unlikely, chlorine content was very high in the tap water, and Fiji bottled water with a value of 40 mg/L in each of the sample. On another hand, the chlorine content was observed zero in Dasani bottled water. Temperature is an important factor in experimentation that can influence the measured values. It is imperative to conduct the test at a standard temperature to obtain precise results.
In conclusion, three experiments were conducted to evaluate the water contamination including tap water, Dasani and Fiji bottled water. The results revealed that quality of Fiji water was better than Dasani and tap water. These both water samples were acidic in nature and lack of required contents necessary for human body. Oil and detergent deteriorated the water quality while vinegar did not affect the quality. Water treatment is necessary to remove the contaminant and to produce unpolluted water.
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