Environmentalchem

Environmentalchem - Water Analysis Authors: D. McCurdy, J....

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Water Analysis Authors: D. McCurdy, J. McCormick* Background The quality of water is of vital importance to the planet. The characteristics of water that allow it to be the “universal solvent” also make obtaining “pure” water almost impossible. As water moves through earth, air, rocks or pipes, material is dissolved in the water affecting its quality. Nitrates and phosphates are common pollutants in water sources with run off from lands where fertilizers have been used. “Hard” water results from the presence of iron, aluminum, manganese, strontium, zinc, magnesium, and calcium ions dissolved in water. Rain falling through an atmosphere rich in covalent oxides, such as nitrogen oxides, carbon oxides and sulfur oxides produces “acid rain”. Old pipes containing lead can result in lead ion concentrations great enough to cause “lead poisoning”. Aquatic life depends upon the concentration of dissolved oxygen in water. Drinking water often has additives to improve the health benefits of water. Chlorine, bromine or ozone may be added to kill bacteria in the water, while fluoride ions are added to strengthen tooth enamel. Scenario In this exercise you are a chemist employed by a private laboratory which has just been hired by a local city to test the water in their reservoir. The city is concerned that changes in land-use on properties adjacent to the reservoir will have adverse effects on water quality. In particular, they are concerned that manure from nearby grazing cattle will find its way into the reservoir. Your section is responsible for performing three analyses: nitrate, fluoride and dissolved oxygen. Groups of three or four will determine the best way to perform one of these analyses given written standard procedures (Week 1), perform the analysis and process the results (Week 2), and present their results to the section (Week 3). Each group will submit a one-page, typed proposal outlining what you will do and how the data will be analyzed. The samples you will analyze this semester will be water samples from Hazel Creek Reservoir, north of Kirksville, which has been at the center of controversy recently because of fears that cattle waste may find its way into the city’s water supply. Hazel Creek Reservoir is located north of the City of Kirksville off Highway 63 (see Fig. 1). It is a man-made lake that traps runoff from several intermittent creeks (see Fig. 2). The cattle of interest are pastured on the most easterly extension of the lake along an intermittent stream. The geology of the area is relevant to your analyses. The bedrock in the area is predominantly limestone (CaCO 3 ) with shale and sandstone deposits. Coal seams are not uncommon in this area. The entire area was glaciated during a previous ice age, and glacial debris forms much of the soil above bedrock.
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Environmentalchem - Water Analysis Authors: D. McCurdy, J....

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