Water quality is defined by its physical, chemical and biological characteristics, one of which is the pH value. The pH value of the river is important as it affects the marine life in the water bodies.In the recent years, China has been known for its mass water pollution due its desire to grow economically – rapidly. 70% of Chinese lakes and rivers are polluted, and 90% of their groundwater is unsuitable for human use (Scipeeps, 2009).
Out of all the provinces in China, Shanghai is notably the worst province in terms of contributing to water pollution.As Shanghai is situated right at the coast of the country with the Huangpu River beside it, there are naturally many rivers present. It has an intensive distribution of water bodies across the city, contributing to the economic and social growth (Ge, 1999). But for Shanghai to grow so rapidly, industries and other areas has to increase in numbers.
As these industries release numerous by-products (most of which is harmful to the environment), there is no other easier way than to dispose them into the river. This dumping of wastes has led to the severe pollution of the rivers, which in turn has cause numerous health defects like cancer, birth deformities etc. In one case, 1/3 of peasants in a village became mentally/seriously ill, high numbers of miscarriages were reported and people died before 40. The culprit was believed to be a tannery that dumped their wastes into the Huangpu River, which was used a drinking water for the villagers (Hays, 2010).3. HypothesisThe pH level of the rivers near residential areas will be lower than 8 and higher than 6.3.1 Reasoning: Industries, factories and motor vehicles emit poisonous gases like nitrogen oxide and sulphur dioxide into the surroundings.
When these gases mix with the water vapour, they form acids and cause the pH level around that area to change.Water bodies near these industrial or commercial sites with factories and vehicles everywhere will most likely have a higher pH level compared to the water bodies near the residential sites. Residential areas are mostly inhabited with people to live in, so there will not be a lot of bustling activities compared to industrial or commercial sites. This is because industrial and commercial sites often dump unwanted waste into the rivers, not just emit poisonous gases.As residential areas do not have any of these substances or gases being dumped into rivers except for an occasional litter every now and then, the pH level of the rivers near residential areas will be near neutral.
4. Methodology1) Prepare an empty plastic bottle, at least 5 metre of raffia sting, plastic bags, gloves and universal litmus paper for the field trip.2) Choose a river/canal, preferably where the water is moving and is not stagnant.3) Put a clean stone into the empty bottle so that the plastic bottle will be able to sink into the water instead of floating on the water surface.4) Tie the raffia string around the neck of the bottle and let the bottle down into the water.5) Try to obtain the water sample beneath the water surface and nearer to the centre of water body.6) Wearing gloves, pull the bottle of water up and dry it with a paper towel or wet tissue.7) Dip half the universal indicator into the bottle of water and record down the pH level of the water sample.8) Take pictures of the whole process, and also pictures of the surroundings/location.9) If there are people there, interview them about the usage of water and the water body.