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The concentration of lead content in drinking waterFeatured science projectScience project video

Conclusion

The hypothesis that the older houses which use lead plumbing have a higher level of lead content in their tap water as compared to newer houses that use PVC pipes, is proven to be true.

The level of lead in our drinking water is now regulated in almost all countries. Water utility companies have to abide by strict regulations to control the level of contaminants such as lead, in our drinking water. Water is distributed to our homes through a network of pipes and most of the pipes in this network are regularly replaced over time. However the internal plumbing in older houses are not replaced and this may be a source of serious health risks to the occupants.

Lead poisoning causes many health problems and can especially affect children and unborn babies. Lead is not only found in water, but also in paint, contaminated soil, crockery and even some toys. Therefore, be wary of the products you buy and ensure that they are lead-free. 

Also consider

The experiment can also be performed using testing kits such as Prolab, to reduce the cost.

Try to modify this experiment to check the level of copper in tap water. 

References

  • Common types of piping - http://www.onlinetips.org/pipe-choose
  • What you need to know about lead in the tap water -http://www.mwra.com/04water/html/qual6leadinfo.htm
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Complexity level:
5
Project cost ($):
10
Time required:
1 hour to prepare, 10 days for collection of samples and preparation
Material availability:
Easily found
Safety concerns:

Do not ingest the water samples.