Draft 2: (Draft 1 actually!) DON'T DRINK THE WATER!

This topic submitted by Lauren Collins, Rachel Wray, Brett Ruttenberg, Martine Nicolay, Jennifer A. Taylor (taylorja@miamioh.edu) at 11:44 pm on 9/28/00. Additions were last made on Wednesday, May 7, 2014. Section: Cummins



Purpose/Problem: The purpose of this experiment is to, through testing and observation, discover if the water in the Western Pond is safe enough to drink.

Hypothesis: Our hypothesis is that the water in the Western Pond is not safe enough to drink.

What we plan to accomplish: Through this experiment, we hope to gain a better understanding of what constitutes healthy drinking water, as well as learning about the pond and its eco-system. We plan to surprise ourselves into finding out how safe or unsafe the water is. Who knows, maybe the pond water is the Evian of the future!

Relevance, if any. Why is this research interesting? This research is interesting because it involves a human factor. We all drink water every day, so it is interesting to know what we can drink, and what we can not. By performing this experiment, we will learn about the influences of chemicals and bacteria in water upon the body.


What others have done:
-Effects of Rainfall on the Western Pond-
-Study of Life on Western Pond-
-Evaporation of Western Pond-
-Studying the Behavior of Swans-
-Sediment in the Western Pond-
-Water Evaporation of the Western Pond-

Relatedness to the ërealí world: By doing this experiment, we will develop the ability to test the safety of drinking water. Not only is this useful in determining Western Pond drinking safety, but in a personal situation (i.e. camping), having the necessary measuring devices, water can be tested for drinking quality. Also, in terms of real estate, a buyer would most often want to purchase land that has a higher quality water. Lastly, we will be able to understand what chemicals and bacteria in water cause what effects to the body, and how these chemicals/bacteria entered the waterís system. 


What is your experimental design? Is it statistically sound? We plan to read and understand the EPA standards for safe drinking water, looking at the most significant chemicals and bacteria. Taking the most influential 5-10 chemicals/bacteria, we will test the levels of them at the Western Pond over a specific time period in three seperate locations. Some of the chemicals/bacteria that we most likely will be testing for are: asbestos, copper, cyanide, fluoride, nitrate, sulfur (hyrdogen sulfide), coliform bacteria, pH, alkalinity, salinity, chlorine, calcium, lead, iron, manganese, mercury.

**All proposed chemicals/bacteria testing is based
upon availability of testing equipment**
Describe important materials and how they will be used: From the natural science department, we plan to make use of any possible testing kit(s) for the above mentioned names of chemicals and bacteria. Also, we will need test tubes, sampling containers, a digital temperature probe, and litmus paper. Testing will occur at least three times to make sure there is no dramatic change. Using the proper tools, we will test the above mentioned chemicals/bacteria from our water samples.

How will we involve the class in our study? We can indeed involve the class. We can take a survey on how safe they believe the Western Pond water is to drink. After that, a presentation of our results will be given. If people are willing to taste the pond water . . . all the better and more interesting. If we still decide to do so, we can branch this experiment onto the tap water of the Western facilities. 
Preliminary Data Sheet Design:

General Time-Line:
Thursday, October 5, 2000: Take first water sample and measure chemical/bacteria levels in the sample.
Sunday, October 8, 2000: Take second water sample and measure chemical/bacteria levels int he sample.
Tuesday, October 10, 2000: Take third, and last, water sample and measure chemical/bacteria levels in the sample.
Thursday, October 12, 2000: Analyze and compare data.


We will present the class with a lab packet of our research and findings. We will also have made graphs and charts to of our findings to give to the class. Hopefully these charts will demonstrate how healthy the pond is. The graphs will be organized by section of pond tested, each specfic test and their level/amount in the pond. If the pond is healthy, we will possibly give the students the opportunity to drink the pond water, or we will drink the water ourselves to prove that it is healthy to drink.

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