Are Copper Pipes a Significant Source of Copper in Drinking Water

by | Oct 15, 2022 | Biology, Experiments


In this experiment(Are Copper Pipes a Significant Source of Copper in Drinking Water), we will be determining the extent of contamination in drinking water because of the presence of copper pipes. After examining the leaching of copper, we will also try to determine the acidity of the water.


To determine how the presence of copper pipes in drinking water can affect human health.


1. Copper can be found in groundwater, surface water, river water, seawater, drinking water, etc.

2. Although the small presence of copper in water keeps the human body healthy, the excess of it can lead to various problems.

3. 1.3 mg copper is found in 1 liter of tap water.

Copper Pipes


1. Copper pipes

2. New PVC pipes

3. Old PVC pipes

4. Copper reagent from Hach Co (CuVer reagent)

5. Color Comparator

6. Color Wheel

7. pH paper

8. Sample holder

9. Notebook

10. Pen or Pencil

11. Tap water

12. Nitric acid


Step 1: Take all the PVC pipes and number them.

Step 2: Place the pipes on the track.

Step 3: Fill the pipes with tap water of pH 6.

Step 4: By mixing nitric acid in the water, fill the pipe with this water of pH 4 and 3.

Step 5: Take out 5 ml aliquots of water sample from the pipes after every 2 to 5 days.

Step 6: Mix this sample with CuVer reagent and shake it well.

Step 7: After shaking, you will find a purple color in the solution.

Step 8: Compare this with the hue on the Hach-colored wheel.

Step 9: Determine the concentration of copper in water by purple color as the greater intensity of purple color determines the presence of a large concentration of copper.

Step 10: From this experiment, you can determine the amount of copper leached out after a period.


1. From the experiment, we find that the copper leached out from the pipes of copper.

2. Also, the presence of acidic water enhanced the leaching of copper from copper pipes.

3. The older pipes showed more leaching than the new ones.

4. We also observed that the brass pipes showed moderated leaching of copper in water.


1. After leaving the copper pipes overnight in water, we saw the concentration of copper in water increase significantly up to 0.3 ppm, which was above the EPM standard.

2. The concentration of copper in water increases with time. Therefore, drain the water from the faucet if kept for a long time.

3. In old houses, the presence of old copper pipes can be seen most commonly.

4. This could also cause some major health problems like nausea, gastrointestinal disturbance, and other physical disorders.

5. Those who are suffering from Wilson’s disease are prone to this contamination.


1. Do not store water in copper pipes for longer than 5 days while experimenting.

2. Record your observation carefully.


In this experiment, we have determined the leaching of copper pipes and their harmful effect on human beings.

Viva Questions With Answers

Q.1 What was the aim of your experiment?

ANS. We aimed to determine the harmful effects of copper pipes in water.

Q.2 Do copper pipes affect water?

ANS. Yes, the concentration of copper in water increases with time when we keep copper pipes in it.

Q.3 What diseases does the excessive concentration of copper cause?

ANS. It can cause several physical diseases, while the problem happens with those who are suffering from Wilson’s disease.


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