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Publication Abstract

The Mineral Content of Illinois Waters Bartow, Edward, J.A. Udden, S.W. Parr, and George T. Palmer, 1908  Illinois State Water Survey, Champaign, IL,  ISWS B-4    Full Text Available

The State Water Survey of Illinois began the investigation of the waters of the State in 1895. While the Survey has laid special stress on the determination of the character of the waters from a sanitary standpoint, it has also often been called upon to make analyses of the mineral content to determine its character from a medicinal or commercial standpoint. In the various reports so far issued by the Survey only results of the sanitary investigations were published. It had been the intention to publish the results of the mineral analyses in a previous report but this had to be postponed until the present time when, in cooperation with the Geological Survey, it has become possible. This Bulletin, primarily, contains the records of the analyses made to determine the composition of the mineral residue with reference to the value of the water for manufacturing and medicinal uses, but there are also included the sanitary analyses, wherever such analyses have been made.

Owing to lack of funds the Survey has not been able to do systematic collecting. The samples examined have been sent by parties who desired to know something of either the commercial or medicinal value of some special water. Though many times, when requested to make only the sanitary examination of a water, that could be considered as typical of a section of the State or of a geological stratum, the Survey has also made an examination of the mineral content. Since the foundation of the Survey in 1895 to December 31, 1905, though it has not been possible to collect samples systematically, 547 analyses have been made to determine the composition of the mineral residue. These waters have come from 269 cities and towns distributed over 90 counties, leaving only 12 counties from which no specimens have been analyzed.

The samples sent to the Survey have usually been sent with a request for information regarding the potability, medicinal value, the suitability for use in boilers, or the suitability for manufacturing purposes. In all cases a report has been made to the party sending the water, and when desired an opinion has been given with respect to its suitability for the special purpose designated by the sender. As a rule, when an opinion regarding the medicinal effect has been desired, the Survey has suggested that the report of the analysis be referred to a competent physician for an opinion. The special opinions concerning each water are not given in this report, but there are given briefly general interpretations of results from a sanitary, medicinal, and industrial standpoint.

The analyses have been arranged in alphabetical order according to the cities and towns. This arrangement will enable those wishing to know the composition of the mineral matters contained in waters from a certain city or town, to easily obtain the information desired, or to learn whether an analysis of the water in question has been made by the State Water Survey. We have also included in the report a county list, showing the number and location of the waters analyzed in each county, in order to facilitate the comparison of the waters of a given section. Again, we have arranged tables of distribution, showing the source of each sample; whether from river, spring, shallow well, or deep well in rock or in drift. This will facilitate comparison of waters of similar origin, or from similar geological horizons.

The methods of analysis published in this Bulletin have been used throughout the greater part of the existence of the Water Survey. While modifications have been made from time to time, in general, the methods given have been followed. Many of the methods are those recommended by the American Public Health Association. When such is not the case it is our purpose as soon as possible to adopt their recommendations, especially with reference to sanitary work.

The analyses were made under the direction of the late Professor A. W. Palmer, until his death in February, 1904. Professor S. W. Parr was director from February, 1904, to September, 1905, when the present director took charge of the work. The analyses have been made by members of the Water Survey staff and the initials accompanying each analysis indicate the analyst. The following men have done this analytical work for the Survey:

Perry Barker, Arthur Donaldson Emmett, Arthur Russell Johnston, David Klein, Justa Morris Lindgren, Albert LeRoy Marsh, Arthur William Palmer, Carleton Raymond Rose, Robert Watt Stark. Mr. C. V. Miller has made many of the sanitary examinations.

Illinois State Water Survey

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