Refuse, Reuse & Grow The Effect of Wash Water on Plant Growth Abbey Smith 1 st period Thompson 8 th Grade Environmental Science, Botany, Chemistry
Background Research What if farmers could recycle their water to productively and safely irrigate their crops? According to Tyler, 23% of the world have insufficient amounts of water for crops (Tyler 43). This project investigates the effects of concentration of refuse recycled wash water on plant health and growth of corn.
Background Research Continued The independent variable is the concentration of refuse wash water (0%, 20%, 40%, 60%, 80% & 100%). On average 45-55 gallons of water are used in a single load of laundry (GM 102). This water will be manually drained and collected and used for plant irrigation.
Background Research Continued The dependent variable is plant growth measured in cm and subjective overall health will be recorded.
Research Question How does the concentration of refuse wash water affect the plant height (cm)?
Hypothesis As the concentration of refuse wash water increases, the plant height will also increase because according to Tyler, refuse wash water contains high amounts of important minerals such as phosphorous and nitrogen that are essential in plant growth (Tyler 301).
Variables The independent variable for the experiment was the concentration of refuse wash water The five levels of the independent variable were: –0 % (control) –20 % –40 % –60 % –80 % –100 % The dependent variable for the experiment was plant height of the corn and was measured in centimeters.
Variables Constants for the experiment were: –Plant type –Soil type –Weather –Detergent brand –Watering technique (drip system) –Watering amount (400 mL per day) –Washer machine –Draining & collecting method
Variables The control for the experiment was 0% refuse wash water. These plants were watered using normal water from the city water lines. This was used to compare the effects of the refuse water on the plants.
Materials 100 corn seedlings (zea mays species) 6 wooden planters (1.5x1.5x3m) 40 g soil per plant Greenhouse & drip irrigation (see methods) GM washing machine 10 Stay Clean Detergent (2 liter each) 40 liters City Water Collecting pump (see methods) 10 white linen towels (.5x.5m) Large trash bin (50 L)
Methods Greenhouse 3-4 m x 5 m Irrigation Drip Planters: – Arrange 20 plants per planter, 3 cm apart. – Label planter 1 – 0%, 2 – 20 %, 3 – 40%, 4 -60%, 5 – 80%, 6 – 100% – Each seedling is 3 cm deep in the soil. – Irrigation tubing is laid in between corn rows.
Methods Collecting Method: 1.Run a normal wash cycle with the white linens using the Stay Clean detergent. 2.After the rinse cycle, stop the washer and pump the water out of the washer by connecting the water pump to the washer machine’s drain. 3.Collect water in large trash bin. 4.Repeat steps 1-3 when more water is needed.
Procedures 1.Input 8 L of city plant water (400 mL per plant) into the planter irrigation drip for planter 1 at 8am. 2.Repeat every day and record plant height. 3.Make 8 L of a 20% refuse solution using the refuse water and city water. Input into planter 2 at 8am daily. 4.Repeat step 3 for each concentration level and planter box. 5.Water plants daily and record plant height daily.
Data Table The Effect of refuse wash water on plant height (cm) Refuse Wash Water Concentration Plant height (cm) Averages After Each Week Average after week 5 12345 0%345677 20%3681012 40%3691215 60% 3681012 80% 367899 100% 367777
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Discussion of Results The data showed that as the refuse water initially increased, plant growth increased. However as refuse concentration reached 60%+ plant height began to decrease. This could be related to extreme concentrations of minerals. Actual averages after 5 weeks were 7cm for 0%, 12 cm for 20%, 15 cm for 40%, 12 cm for 60%, 9cm for 80%, and 7cm for 100%.
Discussion of Results Although the experiment was controlled, there were still some possible sources of error. The errors identified are: 1.Planter 1 had aphids during week 2 possibly killing off viable plants 2.Week 1 was very overcast which could have stunted initial growth 3.Irrigation drip for planter 3 was broken during week 1. For the future, (state what may be changed to reduce or remove these errors)
Discussion of Results For the future, the following may be changed to reduce errors 1.Eradicate any insects before planting plants. 2.Grow plants for a longer period of time thus averaging out poor weather days. 3.Check irrigation system daily and have a backup drip system in case one breaks.
Conclusion Analysis of the results revealed that after 5 weeks the plants were 7cm for 0%, 12 cm for 20%, 15 cm for 40%, 12 cm for 60%, 9cm for 80%, and 7cm for 100%. The hypothesis was (supported and refuted). This happened because as the concentration of refuse water increased, so did the plant height until concentration levels reached 40%+. Then plant levels decreased. This could be attributed to a balanced level of essential minerals and nutrients at the 40% refuse water concentration.
Application The results from this experiment show that refuse water is indeed a viable plant irrigation system and actually improved plant growth by 200%. Not only can plant growth increase but waste water may be recycle and clean water can be saved for other purposes.
Future Research Future studies could focus on the effect of 40% refuse wash water on long term plant life. This could be tested by repeating the same experiment, except This would be useful to determine
Future Research Another problem that could be investigated is (future research question the effect of IV on DV). This could be answered by (briefly explain) The implications of this research would be of interest to _____ (remove underlines and complete with your responses).
References Tyler, Tim. “Reusing Waste Water.” 2010. Washington College. Print. 13 Dec 2009.
Abstract The purpose of this project was to discover how the refuse wash water concentration affected the height of corn plants. The hypothesis was if the concentration of refuse wash water increases, then the plant height will increase. This will happen because essential minerals such as phosphorous and nitrogen will be in greater concentrations thus helping the plants carry out important chemical reactions.
Abstract continued The effect of (IV) on (DV) was determined by (Summarize your experiment). The results collected during this investigation were (Give average data for each level of the IV). The results showed that the hypothesis was (supported or refuted). (Next sentence only if refuted) This happened because (Scientific reason why based on research).