Teacher Demo – Water Quality Demonstration

This demonstration shows some differences between potable (drinkable) water and non-potable (non-drinkable) water.  Variations in temperature, turbidity and pH level also determine the types of microorganisms that can thrive in each water sample.  After the demonstration, students will be able to hypothesize why different types of water can cause illnesses and even death in humans.

What happens?

Students will observe that the different types of water will vary in temperature, turbidity, and pH.  These characteristics of each contribute to whether water is potable (drinkable) or not. Water unsuitable for human consumption can suit other organisms, including macroinvertebrates, plants, fungi and bacteria.

How does it work?

The three samples of water will be brought to class and their water quality will be tested.  In this demonstration temperature, turbidity, and pH level will be used to access the quality of water and whether it would be harmful for humans to intake it and why. The water will be collected in water bottles with lids and the temperature of each water sample will be taken right away as to not skew the results.  In the classroom, these samples will be transferred into three different beakers all labeled with the type of water they contain.  To determine the turbidity (how cloudy the water is) of each sample, a light will be shone onto each sample.  To determine the pH level of each water sample, pH paper will be inserted into each sample.  Students are to record all observations in their notebook in a chart format.

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