Nitrates Letter Essay

613 words - 2 pages

486 Oxford RoadOxford CT 06478May 19, 2014612 Chestnut Tree Hill RoadOxford CT 06478To Whom It May Concern,I feel a need to inform you of a problem concerning our reservoirs in Oxford. I believe that our reservoirs are facing nitrate contamination that is beginning to creep to dangerously high levels.In order to determine the concentration of the nitrates in the reservoir, we added a chemical to the samples to turn the nitrates blue, we then used a spectrophotometer, which uses the amount of concentration of a solute in a colored solution by measuring the amount of light the substance absorbs, to measure concentration of each of the samples of nitrate solution, the more light absorbed, the higher concentration of nitrates were in the sample. As noted in Enclosure 1, the lower the absorbance of the sample, the more diluted the original stock solution had become.Using the data collected within the lab I created a calibration curve, being sure to exclude the absorbencies of the reservoir samples. From this data, a line of best fit and equation for that line were created (Enclosure 2). This equation could then be used to determine how concentrated the samples of water from the reservoir were. The r value of a linear regression can show how accurate the equation is to the data by comparing the r value to 1. The closer to 1 the r value is, the more accurate the data. In this linear regression my r value was 0.9999, so I am confident that this equation, and the results determined from it, are accurate. I found that the concentration at the inflow of the reservoir is low, 0.000142 mol/L, which means that as it enters the reservoir, the water is drinkable and not contaminated. However, at the outflow of the reservoir the nitrate concentration is 0.000422mol/L. The allowable amount of nitrate in drinkable water is 0.000161mol/L, considerably lower than the concentration of nitrates in the outflowing water. Our reservoir is contaminated and is not safe to drink.Nitrate...

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