Cleanest Water on Earth? How and why to sample and test the “pure” spring water from Elmvale Groundwater Observatory
Posted on January 16, 2012 by Naomi Finseth
William Shotyk, Bocock Chair in Agriculture and the Environment, Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, will present a free seminar, Cleanest Water on Earth ? How and why to sample and test the “pure” spring water from Elmvale Groundwater Observatory, on Thursday, 19 January at 12:30 pm in the Wyatt Lecture Room (236 Earth Sciences Building) University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta.
William Shotyk, Bocock Chair in Agriculture and the Environment, Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, will present a seminar on Thursday, 19 January at 12:30 pm in the Wyatt Lecture Room (236 Earth Sciences Building) University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta.
Abstract: The Elmvale Groundwater Observatory (Springwater Township, Ontario) consists of two dedicated groundwater sampling systems designed exclusively for sampling and testing trace metals. The first well was constructed entirely of surgical stainless steel, the other made using high density polyethylene (HDPE). Both wells are artesian flow systems and the entire volume of water in the pipes is exchanged ca. 50 times per day. Using ICP-SMS and clean lab methods it is possible to measure all of the trace metals of contemporary environmental interest. Sampling the water within a laminar flow clean air cabinet helps to eliminate variability by protecting the samples from anthropogenic aerosols in ambient air. Many trace metals such as Cr and Pb are found at concentrations significantly lower than the “cleanest” layers of ancient Arctic ice. The significance of the results are discussed in relation to environmental analytical chemistry, drinking water quality, the geochemistry of soils and waters, watershed management, and public education.
Biographical Sketch: William Shotyk was born in the Village of Swansea, now part of the City of Toronto, in Ontario, Canada. He received his B.Sc. (Agr.) in Soil Science and Chemistry from the University of Guelph in 1981 and a Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Western Ontario in 1987. Following postdoctoral research at the University of California, Riverside and UWO, he worked at the University of Berne in Switzerland where he completed a Habilitation in Geochemistry, in 1995. After 12 years at the University of Berne, he became Professor at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, and Director of the Institute of Environmental Geochemistry, in October of 2000. In 2007, with the help of family and friends, he created the Elmvale Foundation, a federally registered charity for environmental education, and the annual Elmvale Water Festival. He joined the Department of Renewable Resources at the University of Alberta on 1. October 2011, as the Bocock Chair in Agriculture and the Environment, in the Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences. The focus of his research in Alberta will be soil health, air and water quality, and sustainable agriculture.
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