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Flow Rate & Pesticide Concentration

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A certain pesticide is fatal to fish fingerlings at a level of 0.5 parts per million in water. A leaking metal can containing 10.0 kg of the pesticide was dumped into a stream with a flow of 10.0 Liters per second moving at 0.7 km/hr. The container leaks pesticide at a constant rate of 5.0 mg/sec. For what distance (in km) downstream is the water contaminated by fatal levels of the pesticide by the time the container is empty?

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Solution Summary

The solution talks through the problem of finding how far down a river the water will contain fatal concentrations of pesticide after a leakage upstream. The thorough guidance ensures that questions of a similar nature may be tackled in the future.

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From the rate of release (5.0 mg/sec) and the rate of flow (10.0 L/sec) it's possible to get the concentration in mg/L.

1 part per million (ppm) would be 1 mg in 1 kg, or 1 mg in 1 L of water in this case. It doesn't matter much to the question, but you can check that the concentration is indeed fatal to those poor fish fingerlings. BTW, this is an ...

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