MadSci Network: Chemistry

Re: What kind of minerals are in tap water?

Date: Fri May 5 08:42:56 2000
Posted By: Tony Gaglierd, Faculty, Natural Science and Engineering Technology, Point Park College
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 957071008.Ch

Dear Justin:

The following is the answer to your question about minerals in water. I hope it will be helpful. Good luck on your science project.

The mineral content of water varies considerably from place to place. In general, surface water, rivers, lakes and streams, contain less minerals than grond water, wells and springs.

The mineral content of water reflects the nature of the geologic fromation with which the water has been in contact. The most abundant minerals dissolved in water are salts of calcium, magnesium, strontium, ferrous iron, and manganese. The cations(negative ions) these meatls are assocoated with are bicarbonates, carbonates, sulfates, and chlorides.

These minerals produce a condition in water knowen as hardness. The more dissolved minerals the water contains the harder the water. Hard water minerals react with soap to form a precipitate. they also form scale in pipes.

Boiling water is one method of disinfecting water. Disinfection is a process of destroying disease causing microorganisms in water.

When the temperature of water is raised such as when boiling, the amount of dissolved minerals that the water can keep in solution becomes less. The excess minerals come out of the water and form scale. The white deposit in the bottom of a tea kettle is an example of this process.

The minerals are not destroyed they simply move out of the water.

A basic rule of chemistry is that matter can neither be created nor destroyed it can only be changed from one form to another.

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