Analyzing How Soil Composition, Grass Amount, and Rate of Pour Affects the Amount of Contamination Found in Groundwater

The purpose of this experiment was to find out how a change in soil composition, amount of grass seed, and rate of pour would affect the final recorded change in the pH level of a simulated groundwater system. By finding the effects of soil composition, grass amount, and rate of pour, the effect of a soil system’s properties on the prevention of groundwater contamination could be further tested. Changing the properties of the soil that is placed above water sources could prevent lead and other contamination from happening. This could prevent lead poisoning and other illnesses such as blue baby syndrome.

The experiment designed consisted of multiple soil systems, each with a unique set of the properties: soil composition, amount of grass, and rate of pour. This soil system was setup and a vinegar contaminated water solution was poured into the top layer of soil. Then, an electronic pH tester was used to record the change in pH of water that was beneath the soil, which served as an indicator for the amount of contamination. The results were recorded and analyzed with a three-factor DOE to see if soil composition, amount of grass or rate of pour had a significant effect on the contamination of the water.

The DOE analysis showed that all of the variables had a significant effect on the change in pH of the groundwater. All factors had a negative effect on the pH of the water when analyzed for individual effects. When combined, all of the factors had some positive or negative effect on the change in pH of the water. When combined, grass amount and rate of pour had negative effect on the change in pH. Soil composition and grass, along with soil composition and rate of pour combined to have a positive effect.

Research Conducted By:

Brandon Beltz
Cousino High School

Tin Mong
Warren Mott High School