Authors

Pod(s)

Earth, Home Life, Pollution

Module(s)

Water

Abstract

In this activity we’ll be treating "contaminated" water to observe firsthand the steps involved in purifying water for human consumption. The activity will use everyday items to carry out the steps in drinking water treatment and you will record changes in the water’s properties as the process progresses. The basic version of this exercise has you record the appearance and odor of untreated water as it moves through the various steps. In some situations, depending on available equipment and personnel, you may also be able to measure turbidity. Turbidity describes the clarity or “muddiness” of a water sample and is measured by examining the transmission of light through a water sample. Turbidity is a particularly useful measure of water quality for this exercise, as it enables one to quantitatively track changes in the water sample as it moves through the treatment process. Check with your lab instructor to see if turbidity measurements will be taken when you perform the exercise. Directions for measuring turbidity, if applicable, will be provided by your lab instructor.