science fair

Science Fair Ideas: Water Quality Testing

As summer nights start getting dark earlier, a new school year is almost upon us. That means it’s time for homework and projects. If you’re looking for science fair projects, Test Assured has you covered. We’ll share some of our favorite projects for water quality testing. All you need are Test Assured’s 4 Test Kit Set for Schools and Science Fairs and some water samples. Our convenient water testing set includes 4 test kits to test various water sources and is appropriate for children in grades three through twelve. In this post, we’ll give you some easy science project ideas and tell you what you need to know to start your project.

science fair

Does the Time of Day Change What Is in Your Water?

With all of the scares about water quality and safety, there are many ways you can reduce your risk of drinking contaminated water. One of the cautions we have heard recently is that the quality of your municipal water can change depending on the time of day. This theory makes for an easy science fair project because all you need to do is collect samples from different times of the day and test them with the supplies provided in our science fair kit.

Are All Bottled Waters Created Equal?

As we’ve seen from recent news headlines, you cannot take safe drinking water for granted.  When people are worried about the quality of their tap water, they often turn to bottled water.  Today, bottled water is a growing industry, and there are dozens of brands to choose from, but are all brands created equal? Pick up a few different brands of bottled water, and you have all you need to put together an interesting project using our tests.

What’s in Your Mineral Water?

This is another experiment that uses store-bought water. The bottled water business is booming with a growing variety of water. Mineral water is touted to offer extra health benefits and is favored by those who like sparkling water with bubbles. For this project, you’ll test to see if there really is a difference between the different types of sparkling water. Along with the test kit, you’ll also need to purchase different brands of mineral water to test.

Is Rainwater Safe to Drink?

The continental United States gets an average of 30 inches of precipitation each year. With all of the water falling from the sky, you might be wondering if rainwater is safe to drink. While using rainwater is a great way to conserve resources, some sources state that rainwater might be harmful if used as drinking water. Depending on how the water is collected, it could contain dangerous contaminants. This project compares a variety of rainwater samples to regular tap water and filtered tap water to see how they compare. Before you can perform this experiment, you’ll need to collect some rainwater samples.

Preparation is Simple

Once you’ve purchased your water testing kit and decided which science fair project you’ll be working on, preparation is simple. To prepare for the tests, you’ll need to gather your water samples. Each kit comes with vials for your samples – be sure to label the vials as you fill them. You may also want to collect additional samples in larger containers or zipper sandwich bags, so you have enough for the TDS test.  You can easily label the bags, and they are large enough to allow for the TDS meter.  For more stability (and less chance of spills), you can put the baggies inside mugs or cups.

Now It’s Time for Testing

Before you get started with the tests, now is a good time for you to make some visual observations. Take notes about how clear or cloudy your samples look.  Additionally, look to see if visible particles are floating in any of the samples.  These observations can be written in the “Notes” on the last page of the results notebook.

At this point, you are ready to perform the first test, which will use the TDS meter to test the total amount of dissolved solids.  The meter will not fit in the test vials, so it is easier to complete this part of the experiment with your samples in baggies or poured into a cup.

Performing the TDS test is simple, just turn on the meter and submerge the prongs in the samples. Afterward, rinse the meter with clean water between each test. Using the results notebook that was included with the kit, record your results.

Now you’re ready to get started with the rest of the tests. Each kit includes a testing strip with instructions. The strips allow you to test for a variety of contaminants.

  • Alkalinity
  • pH
  • Hardness
  • Chlorine
  • Copper
  • Nitrate
  • Nitrite
  • Iron

Remember, it’s easiest to work with one sample at a time because you don’t want to risk cross-contaminating anything.  Follow the instructions to complete all of the tests, and don’t forget to record your findings in the results notebook.

Displaying Your Science Fair Results

When you have completed each of the tests on your four samples, it’s time to look at your results.  Ask yourself the following questions and record your answers on the “Notes” page.

  • Was there a significant difference in quality among the samples?
  • Could you determine if there was a water sample that was unhealthy?
  • Which sample would be the best for drinking water and why?
  • What results did you find the most surprising?

Afterward, you can use clear tape to fix the test sticks to the color charts to display your results for your science fair project.  You may even want to create some graphs or charts from your results so you can highlight your conclusion.

We created this graph in Excel to show how the pH levels varied in our samples.

As you can see, Test Assured’s 4 Test Kit Set for Schools and Science Fairs offers a lot of options for easy-to-complete science projects. Use one of our project ideas and gather up some water samples, and you’ll have quantifiable data to create a visual display of your results.

So, be sure to share your results and project ideas with us in the comments.