Science Junction

Water What-ifs
Water Quality and Temperature

Temperature Data

The temperature should be taken in the same area where the other water quality tests are performed. The temperature can be taken in two different ways: Take a water sample by placing a container approximately 10 inches indepth in the water and fill to approximately 2-3 inches from the top. Place the thermometer in the sample and place in a area where it will not be disturbed. Wait approximately 2 minutes and read the temperature off the thermometer. Place the thermometer in the water approximately 4 inches below the surface. Wait approximately 2 minutes for the temperature to stabilize. Remove the thermometer from the water and immediately read the temperature off the thermometer.


The temperature data should be in Celsius degrees. If you are using a thermometer which reads in Fahrenheit degrees, use the conversion chart to convert to Celsius degrees. Be sure to record the original data value and the converted value.

Conversion Calculation

Temperature scales are defined by assigning values to temperatures that are easy to reproduce. Celsius and Fahrenheit scales both use the freezing point and boiling point of water at normal atmospheric pressure. On a Celsius scale, the distance between the freezing point and the boiling point is divided into 100 equally-spaced divisions. On a Fahrenheit scale, the distance between the freezing point and the boiling point is divided into 180 equal divisions.

Try this practice problem:

Human body temperature is normally 98.6°F. What is this on the Celsius scale?

Try this yourself. Hint: 98.6° F is 66.6° F above the freezing point of water.

Check your answer.

 
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©1998 April J. Cleveland for Science Junction, NC State University. All rights reserved.
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Last Modified: 6/11/98

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