None of us (I hope) would drink or wash with water that looked slimy or muddy. But water can look clear and clean, and still be full of interesting things, some of which can make it not quite healthy.

Here's a list of what we've found in our water so far, and a few things that we'll be looking at in the next week or two:

pH - pure, distilled water , is neutral pH, but things in the water can make it either more acidic , or more basic . Vinegar and battery acid are acidic (so is the carbon dioxide we breathe out). Soap and bleach are both more basic that pure water. >>if water in your pipes is too acidic , it corrodes (eats away) the metal. >>if it is too basic , the pipes build up layers of "scale" and clog up.

Chlorine - chlorine is put into water because it kills microorganisms (germs & fungus). It is stronger, or more concentrated, in swimming pools and other public use kinds of water. We learned from our radish sprout experiment that water with chlorine doesn't seem to grow plants quite as well as pure water. why do you think that might be?

Metals & minerals- We found that water can often have small amounts of certain metals , like iron and copper, as well as salts and minerals which "hide" in the water. Iron gets rusty , and stains sinks,clothes,and bath tubs. Copper in water gives it a bitter taste , like licking a penny, and leaves stains that are colored blue-green . Copper comes from acidic water that dissolves copper pipes . "Hard " water means that lots of calcium and magnesium minerals are dissolved in the water. It leaves streaks and spots all over your glasses and plates, and often leaves a soap scum in the shower and tub.

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