Quality of Drinking Water by ProQuest

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Being able to detect the presence of potentially harmful substances in the water supply is crucial to preventing serious injury, illness, death, or long-term problems for developing children and compromised members of society. Start thinking about the following: * What are the national standards for drinking water quality? * Which substances must be detected? * Should the detector always be monitoring water quality, or only at certain specified intervals during the day? * Are the same substances of concern universally important in all areas of the country and state? * Should the detectors be at each sink faucet, or should a central one be located somewhere in the home?

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									    Classroom Challenge




    Quality of Drinking Water

    By Harry T. Roman



    Detection of chemical
    substances and other important
    physical information from our
    environment will continue to be
    a major concern for our society.




Background
The quality of drinking water has been gaining a great
deal of attention lately, especially as our water delivery
infrastructure continues to age. Particles of various metals
such as lead and copper, and other substances like radon
and arsenic could be entering our drinking water supplies.
Spilled-on-the-ground hydrocarbon-based substances
are also leaking into water supplies and pose a significant
hazard. Here is an opportunity for students to think about     one of the distinguishing characteristics of modern society is the
how to detect these substances.                                quality of our drinking water.



                                    13 •   The Te c hnolo gy Te ac her   • october 2009
one of the distinguishing characteristics of modern society         a very good source of local assistance here and may be able
is the quality of its drinking water. over 50,000 people die        to demonstrate some of the chemistry used to detect the
every year in Africa due to poor or absent drinking-water-          presence of common water contaminants. Start thinking
quality standards to ensure safe supplies of potable water.         about the following:
Being able to detect the presence of potentially harmful              •	 What are the national standards for drinking water
substances in the water supply is crucial to preventing                  quality?
serious injury, illness, death, or long-term problems for             •	 Which substances must be detected?
developing children and compromised members of society.               •	 Should the detector always be monitoring water quality,
                                                                         or only at certain specified intervals during the day?
This is a very practical problem and requires the thought             •	 Are the same substances of concern universally
and creativity of being able to envision squeezing the                   important in all areas of the country and state?
equivalent of a smal
								
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