Public Lab Research note

Collect 3 Water Samples for Testing

by amarini | September 29, 2014 17:58 29 Sep 17:58 | #11205 | #11205

Samples collected by Ariana Marini & Madeline Bilis
JR-368 Emerson College Data Visualization

Christian Science Center Reflecting Pool

Street address/coordinates: 250 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston MA 42.343775, -71.084839
Type of water: Fountain/pool water
High or low conductivity guess: Low conductivity
Site/background info: The Christian Science Center Reflecting Pool is filled for half of the year-- the water goes in April 1st and is usually out by November 1st. It’s 686 feet long and 26 inches deep. The pool holds 1.3 million gallons, and currently uses 5 million gallons per year for backwashing and replacing water lost to leaks and evaporation. There’s currently a revitalization plan in the works to shorten the pool by about 18 feet and to lower it from 26 inches to about 6 to 12 inches. This will not only increase the quality of the reflection on the pool, but also save 2 million gallons of water annually. This plan is part of the center’s goal of environmental sustainability. There is no swimming or wading allowed in the pool at any time. A parking garage for the plaza is located under the reflecting pool. The pool is reportedly “subject to breakdowns and leaks into the garage below”, which is part of the reason why there are plans for it to be replaced.

Boston Public Garden Lagoon

Street address/coordinates: 69 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02108 42.354567, -71.069356
Type of water: pond water
High or low conductivity guess: high
Site/background info: The lake sits within the Public Garden across from the Boston Common. The Public Garden was the first public botanical garden in America in 1837. In 1859, the lake, which is actually artificial, was finished. The artificial lake, sometimes referred to as the lagoon by locals, covers about 4 acres and is about 3-4 feet deep. You'll see ducks and swans within the lake as well. People often try feeding the ducks at this location. Boats cruise around the lake during the warmer months. The influx of animals, plants, boats, and people in and around the recreational reservoir may contribute to the pollution. Most of the water in the artificial lake is drained before winter and then refilled in the spring.

Local Metropolitan Boston Bath Water

Street address/coordinates: 65 Hemenway St Boston, MA 02115 42.344864, -71.089523
Type of water: tap water/bath water
High or low conductivity guess: low
Site/background info: The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) has been responsible for the distribution of water in the metropolitan Boston area since 1985. The Boston water system is managed in partnership with the Department of Conservation and Recreation. An Integrated Water Supply/Quality Program was developed by MWRA which aims to protect the quality and safety of the water found in homes and offices through watershed protection, proper water treatment, and protection of treated water in covered tanks and clean pipes, according to the MWRA. The water is obtained from two reservoirs outside of Boston, the Quabbin Reservoir and Wachusett Reservoir. Together, these reservoirs supply about 214.21 million gallons of water each day, according to a 2007 report. The reservoirs are protected and filled naturally. MWRA’s licensed treatment operators, who make it drinkable, treat the water. The water is then sent through the MetroWest Water Supply Tunnel, where it's stored in tanks. The water is then distributed to local pipes in each resident's community. The water is monitored, tested, and protected so it should be very clean.


i would love if i ever could test it

Reply to this comment...

@gabirielle It was pretty easy and it's not super expensive to do!

Reply to this comment...

Login to comment.