Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Water Treatment

Figure from experiment 14 from Earth Science with Vernier


Every community has a method for pre-treating drinking water from a ground or surface water source. Sometimes the term water purification is used for this treatment, but this term incorrectly suggests that the end result of this process will be pure water, with no impurities. A better term to describe this process is water treatment. In order to be assured that water from a well, stream, or lake has enough impurities removed by water treatment to be used as drinking water, it must go through several water treatment steps. These steps may include settling, filtration, or chlorination. Far from making the water “pure,” the treatment will in many cases simply reduce some impurities to a level found to be acceptable by government agencies.

In this experiment, you will treat an untreated water sample supplied by your teacher. You will use a number of different methods, including settling, filtration and pH adjustment, to treat your water sample. Before and after the treatment, you will monitor three different indicators of water quality: pH, total dissolved solids (TDS), and turbidity, to see if each quality improves.


In this experiment, you will

  • Use a pH Sensor to measure the pH of the pre-treatment and post-treatment samples.
  • Use a Conductivity Probe to measure the total dissolved solids (TDS) of the pre-treatment and post-treatment samples.
  • Use a Turbidity Sensor to measure the turbidity of the pre-treatment and post-treatment samples.
  • Use the test results to see how much the treatment improved the quality of the drinking water sample.
  • Compare the drinking water sample to EPA standards shown in the introduction.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Standards Correlations

See all standards correlations for Earth Science with Vernier »

Experiment 14 from Earth Science with Vernier Lab Book

<em>Earth Science with Vernier</em> book cover

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

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