Once you have collected your tap water sample from your
place of residence, you will need to determine the map coordinates (latitude
Latitude and Longitude data for a specific address can be
found in several ways.
‘Google Earth’. To use this program, you will have to download it
onto your computer. The website for the free version is here.
you have downloaded the program on your computer, open the program.
To find the Lat and Lon for your address, type your address (in one
line) into the search box located at the upper left of your screen, then
click on the search button to the right of the search box (make sure that
the ‘Fly To’ tab is selected above the search box). You should see
the map zoom in on your residence. Place the mouse cursor over your
residence and write down the map coordinates that are at the bottom of
the map, just to the right of the word ‘pointer’. Be sure to record
both the latitude (N) and the longitude (W). If you have trouble with this, I can
help you out.
- Use a
GPS device if you have one.
- Use a
RESULTS OF PAST SEMESTER
TAP WATER MEASUREMENTS
Students were asked to bring in a tap water sample from their homes to
analyze for Mg and Ca, two of the main components leading to "hard"
water. The purpose of this study was to give students experience in
analyzing real samples and to determine what areas around Sacramento have "soft" or
Summary of Results:
Students have brought in tap water samples from their homes, have analyzed the
samples, and have reported the results. To improve the data quality, a
number of quality control (QC) criteria were used to discard suspect
data. Only a fraction of the data generally meet the QC criteria.
Note that not all of the data quality issues have been addressed. There
may have been sampling errors (e.g. collection of water from a tap with a water
softener) or mistakes in dilution or calculations.
The following links are to data that has been collected
during some previous semesters:
Regional map of Ca2+
data – Local map of Ca2+ data
Regional map of Mg2+
data – Local map of Mg2+ data
Table of average data for both Ca2+
Most of the water in the Sacramento region
either comes from local ground water sources or from local river sources
(mainly the American
River for most of the
samples). The data table showed that water samples from the Sacramento
Region to be softer on average than from surrounding areas (such as Davis and Yuba
City). However, the map values do show water from
foothill towns (Folsom and Cameron Park) to have soft water. Within the Sacramento region, water was found to be soft near campus
on the south side of the American River, while being the hardest close to CSUS but on
the north side of the American
River. I am
guessing that most of the samples with higher Mg and Ca concentrations
originate from ground water, while many of the softer water samples from Sacramento originate from the American River.
One can expect that the ground water concentrations will tend to increase going
from the east to the west, since the general flow of water will be from east to
west (at least on the east side of the Sacramento River).