National Collegiate Honors Council


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UReCA: The NCHC Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity:


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Water contamination from trace metals can pose severe threats to human and environmental health. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies aluminum as a secondary contaminant, for which it provides non-mandatory secondary maximum contaminant levels (SCML) because such contaminants are not considered to present a risk to the public. The SMCL for aluminum is between 0.05 and 0.2 mg/L or part per million (ppm). Tap water from different sources on the Columbia College campus were analyzed for aluminum content by fluorometry and visible spectrometry. The results from the fluorometry method indicated that samples from two locations on campus were higher than the SCML limit for aluminum of 0.2 ppm. The visible spectrometry method was found to be time consuming and ineffective for aluminum analysis due to the necessity of specific reagents and sample preparation.