Public Lab Research note

JR 368 02 Water Conductivity Testing

by chelsea_tremblay | February 23, 2015 00:50 23 Feb 00:50 | #11616 | #11616


Chelsea Tremblay, Amanda Gomez, Terrena Scannell

Video Evidence:

View our testing of snow Sample A here, Sample B here, and Sample C here.

Our findings:

For this activity, our group collected three snow samples from vastly different locations: on top of a roof, the side of the road in Boston’s Chinatown and the side of the road in Auburn, New Hampshire. When the conductivity sensors were placed in the water samples, the Coqui produced a high pitched noise that correlated to the water’s conductivity. The more polluted the water, the more difficult it was to hear the Coqui’s pitch. As can be seen in our YouTube video, the water sample from New Hampshire (surprisingly) was the most polluted and so had the lowest conductivity level. Our group initially hypothesized that the sample from New Hampshire would be cleaner, showing how Boston’s snow is more polluted, hence unsafe to dump into the Boston Harbor. However, the snow from Chinatown—an area that sees a lot of foot and car traffic in a day—had a clearer conductivity reading than the snow from the small town. The snow on the roof, which was only exposed to air pollutants, gave, as expected, the clearest conductivity reading on the Coqui.

You can reference back to our original wiki research page to see our thinking process in preparation for this sensor project. We looked into the safety of road salt and how much Boston typically uses in one winter, but did not look into the same figures for New Hampshire, so were unprepared for our findings


The site of Sample A's collection.


The site of Sample B's collection.


The site of Sample C's collection.


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