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Public Lab Research note

Emerson College JR-368 Water Sample Data Results

by abcieslik | October 01, 2014 20:10 01 Oct 20:10 | #11227 | #11227

Findings by Anna Cieslik and Taylor Kiss

First off, here's a link to our initial note detailing our three water samples and some predictions we made regarding their potential conductivity.

Now to go into our findings! We recorded our testings to make it easily accessible to all. This also guarantees a certain level of transparency with our findings. To watch the video, click here.

As we explain in the video, the lower the Coqui sensor's pitch is, the lower the sample's conductivity level is, meaning that there is ultimately less dissolved in the water.

The lowest pitched sample we had came from Dawson Pond (a video of the Coqui sensor reacting to just this sample can be viewed here). This makes sense because, although the Dawson Pond water appears to be the dirtiest at first glance, it is a relatively untouched body of water. While the animal and plant life teeming in the pond gives the water a murky look, there isn't much dissolved in the water since it is fresh water (as opposed to salt water) and largely uncontaminated by humans.

Next we have our water sample from a water fountain in Emerson College's Walker Building (here's the video for this sample). We initially thought that this would have the lowest pitch because it is filtered and safe to drink. However, it makes sense on second thought that it is not the sample with the lowest conductivity because chemicals added to our drinking water during the purification process ultimately register as additives as well.

Finally, there is our sample of Jamaica Pond water, with the highest ranking pitch (listen to it for yourself right here). This is, once again, a fresh body of water so it theoretically shouldn't be very contaminated. However, since it is an extremely large water source with lots of human interaction on a daily basis, it isn't too surprising to find that there are lots of chemicals dissolved in the water. After doing some more research, it also turn out that two separate storm sewers drain into the pond, which can add a lot of contaminants to the water.

While these results can tell us a lot, it is important to note these are basic tests that simply tell us whether or not contaminants are present in the water. We cannot conclude from these tests what exactly is in the water, so we should be weary of jumping to conclusions and saying things like, "Dawson Pond water is safer to drink than Emerson College water fountain water because the pond water has a lower conductivity." Moral of the story: correlations are not causations and you should always be careful to limit your finding reports to say what you know concretely, rather than expanding on said findings and making assumptions.


thats really amazing :) gj girls!

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