Water Purification Projects for Science

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Water Purification Projects for Science
Water filters remove impurities. (Michael Blann/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Water purification is a common science project theme in classes and school science fairs. Educating yourself about water purification provides you with knowledge that can save your life in a survival situation. In addition to learning useful survival knowledge, a well-comprised water purification project will land you a fine grade in class. To execute a water purification project successfully, you need access to a river or lake from which to obtain dirty water.

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Chemicals Vs. Filter

Test the effectiveness of water purifying chemicals combined with a filter versus the filter alone. You will need a large glass jar, two small glass jars, two paper coffee filters and alum water purifier chemical. You can purchase alum water purifier chemical from most science and survival speciality stores. Fill the large glass jar with dirty water from a pond or river. Place a clean coffee filter over the mouth of both small jars, and pour half of the dirty water into each, through the filter. Add four drops of alum water purifier to one jar and stir. Observe the difference; the water with alum added should be cleaner than the water without.

Homemade Filter

Creating a filter to clean dirty water demonstrates an understanding of purification. You will need a jar of dirty water, a two-litre soda bottle that is cut in half horizontally, jumbo cotton balls, sand, charcoal pebbles and small rocks. You can purchase charcoal pebbles from most pet or science stores. Place the top half of the soda bottle upside down in the bottom half, creating a funnel through the drinking spout. Place jumbo cotton balls into the drinking spout of the bottle, cap off. Next, pour a layer of sand over the cotton balls, followed by the charcoal pebbles and lastly the small rocks. Pour the dirty water through the filter, and observe how clean it is when it funnels into the bottom half. Experiment with arranging the filter materials differently to find the most effective combination.

Boiling Vs. Filtering

Compare two types of water purification, boiling water and filtering it through an old cotton T-shirt. You will need a jar of dirty water, two small glass jars, a pot, hob and an old cotton T-shirt. Pour half of the water into the pot, and heat it on high over a hob to boil it for 20 minutes. Pour the boiled water into one of the small glass jars. Next, stretch a cotton T-shirt over the mouth of the second small glass jar, and pour the remaining dirty water through. Observe the difference between the water in each jar.

Different Commercial Purifiers

Test the effectiveness of different commercial water purifier systems. Purchase a water filter, water purification tablets and water purification drops. Pour dirty water into three separate small glass jars, and treat each one with a different purification system. Compare the results to determine which worked the best, which was the easiest to use and which was the most cost effective.

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