Application 06

Environmental Science

Water Analysis


1. Community Water Analysis

Directions: Answer the following questions. Appropriate references have been provided for your convince. You may use alternate references of your choice. Cite your references/sources for each question! Remember to state each question or part of question, answer, and reference.

a. What are the major sources of the water supply? If you do not have well water where does the supplier/treatment plant obtain your water? If you have well water which watershed /aquifer does it come from?

    - The World's Fresh Water Supply - University of Michigan  

    - Critical problems for fresh water supplies in Pacific    

    - Water Usage


b. How is drinking water treated (provide a detailed answer)?

    - History of drinking water treatment

        If you have a well answer the following. If you don't please indicate and skip to c.

1)  Describe the treatment system (filter) and how is the water pumped?

     - Understanding Home Water Treatment Systems - University of Missouri

     - Water Pump - Wikipedia

2)  Describe potential problems with bacteria in the system?

     - Iron and Sulphide bacteria

        - Consumer Guide to Water Filters - Natuinal Resources Defense Council

c. Your Drinking Water.

           1)  What contaminants are tested for?

           - Ground Water & Drinking Water - EPA - Frequently Asked Questions

           - How is Tap Water Tested For Contamination?

       2) Has drinking water been analyzed recently for the presence of synthetic organic chemicals, especially chlorinated hydrocarbons?

          -  Air and Water Pollution


d. Water violations.

        1)  How many times during each of the past five years have levels of tested contaminants violated 
          federal standards? (Contact
your City, Village, Town, Township, County or County Extension to get the answer to this question.)

       2) Was the public notified about the violations? (Contact your City, Village, Town, Township, County or County Extension to get the answer to this question.)

            Envirofacts - Your One-Stop Source for Environmental Information 


e. Water usage.

        1) How is water use divided among agricultural, industrial, power plant cooling, and public uses in your community?

          - The Water Cycle: Freshwater Storage

       2) Who are the biggest consumers of water?

          - Water Science for Schools


f. Identify and list current water cost per gallon and compare this cost to the cost of a gallon of bottled water at a store. Cost per gallon of bottled water can, usually, be found on the shelf sticker on the store shelf where you would find bottled water.)


g.  Are storm drains and sanitary sewers combined or separate in your area? Make an analysis of the pros and the cons of having separate or combined storm drains and sanitary sewers. (Contact your City, Village, Town, Township, County  or County Extension to get the answer to this question.)



Most of the above information can be found at your local library. Some information can be found in the County's Annual Report and each city provides an annual Drinking Water Quality Report. You can also contact your local water department. The phone number should be on your water bill. Many cities have the Annual Drinking Water Quality Report online.

An alternative method to answering the above questions would be to go and visit your local WASTE water treatment plant and ask for a tour of the plant.



   2. Home Water Usage Analysis

                a. Household Water Use for 3 Days (Copy chart and paste into your report)


Directions: Calculate your total household water use for 3 days. Please add to any of the categories as needed.


                  Number of Individuals in the Household ________.




Number of Times Performed



Total Gallons

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3



Flushing toilet 





5 gal







30 gal







40 gal


        Brushing teeth





1 gal


Washing Hands





 1 gal



Washing Dishes (by hand)





30 gal







15 gal


Washing machine





30 gal


Cooking (meal / person)





3 gal



Washing car 





20 gal


Watering-lawn per min





8 gal


Watering-garden per min





8 gal























Grand Total  ________


b. Total number gallons per household per day in Water Usage Analysis (divide by, the number of days, 3) _________

c. Average number of gallons per person per day  (divide by number of individuals in household) _________

d. Average gallons of water used per person each week. (multiply by 7) _________

e. Average Gallons of water used per person per year (multiply by 52) _________ 

 f. Given the national average, of 38,690 gal/yr., compare the yearly national average with your yearly average. How does your yearly average compare to the national average?  

 g. Discuss other areas that you use water that are not included in this analysis such as at work (drinking water, eating food at work, eating out, car wash, swimming, showering at the gym or at work, athletic events, etc.....).

 h. Develop a plan to reduce your water usage by 10%.  Be detailed.

 i. How does your usage compare with water usage in other parts of the world?


3. Summarize the application containing "what you did" and "what you found out" concerning this activity.


For additional resources and sources click on Web Resources.


Last Updated: 20 September 2014