Notes on the Analysis of the Georgian Spring-Water
By Archibald Hall
[Originally published by the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec in Transactions, Original Series, Vol. 4, No. 1 (1855)]
1.—No change effected on either Litmus or Turmeric Papers; indicating the absence of free Carbonic Acid or Alkaline Carbonates.
2.—Sulphuric and Oxalic Acids produced slight effervescence, the latter accompanied with a precipitate; indicating the presence of an Earthy Carbonate.
3.—Oxalate of Ammonia and Oxalate of Potassa caused a speedy precipitation.
4.—The addition of Muriate of Baryta, was attended with slight cloudiness and subsequent precipitation, soluble partially in Nitric and Muriatic Acids with effervescence, thus giving evidence of the presence of Sulphuric and Carbonic Acids.
5.—Nitrate of Silver caused a dense curdy Precipitate, soluble in Ammonia; indicating Muriatic Acid.
6.—Carbonate of Ammonia having been added in excess, and subsequently Phosphate of Ammonia, and the whole boiled, a copious precipitate was the result. The substitution of Phosphate of Soda for the Phosphate of Ammonia, in another experiment, produced a similar effect; indicating Magnesia.
7.—On boiling the water, for a quarter of an hour, a white deposit coated the flask, which dissolved in Muriatic Acid with effervescence; indicating the presence of an Earthy Carbonate.
8.—After evaporating a portion of the water, until a pellicle formed on the surface, cubic crystals began to deposit themselves. Some of them were dissolved in water and Muriate of Platinum added—no precipitate occured, thus proving them to be Soda.
9.—A quantity of the water was reduced to l-15th of its bulk, Starch and Sulphuric Acid were added, while Chlorine water was made to float on the surface. At the point of junction between the liquid and the supernatant Chlorine water, a faint purple streak became visible; indicating Iodine.
10.—Treating the residuum, after evaporating ten ounces of water to dryness, by Muriatic Acid, disclosed a minute portion of insoluble matter, which was Silica.
11.—The Specific Gravity of the water from various experiments was 1.007. From these experiments, the presence of the following ingredients is demonstrated:—
From Experiments, 2, 4, 7……Carbonic Acid.
1,—An eight ounce phial was procured, accurately balanced, and into it was poured 1,000 grains of the water. It was allowed to evaporate to dryness and the phial kept exposed to the heat for an hour, or until it was sensibly dry. On being weighed a second time, it was found to have increased in weight by 11.50 grains, which consequently is the amount of Anhydrous Salt in 1,000 grains of the water.
2.—1,000 grains of the water were treated with Nitrate of Silver. The Chloride of silver, washed, dried, and fused, weighed 25.5 grains; a quantity equal to 6.296 grains of Chlorine.
3.—4,000 grains were heated, and Oxalate of Amonia added; the precipitate was carefully washed and dried in the open air; it weighed 3.75 grains, equal to 0.937 grains Oxalate of Lime to 1,000 grains of water, a quantity proportional to 0.412 Lime.
4.—To 1,000 grains of the water, freed from Lime, by Oxalate of Ammonia, a solution of Carbonate of Ammonia was added in excess, and, afterwards, a few drops of Phosphate of Ammonia. The Ammoniaco-Magnesian-Phosphate thus obtained, weighed 2.25 grain; equiva¬lent to 0.660 grains of Magnesia.
5.—To 1,000 grains, Muriate of Baryta was added; the precipitate, after careful washing and drying, weighed 1.50 grains, consisting of Sulphate and Carbonate of Baryta. Having been exposed to the action of diluted Muriatic Acid; the residuum, washed and dried, weighed 0.90 grains, thus giving 0.60 grains as the weight of the Carbonate; these yielded, respectively, 0.30 grains of Sulphuric Acid and 0.132 of Carbonic Acid in 1,000 grains of water.
6.—1,000 grains of the water were freed from Lime, Magnesia, Carbonic and Sulphuric Acids, in the manner stated, and Carbonate of Ammonia was added to precipitate any excess of Barytes remaining in the water. The whole was carefully filtered and evaporated to dryness, and the residue was kept at a red heat for an hour. It weighed about 7.20 grains, and was Chloride of Sodium equavalent to 2.880 grains of Sodium. No experiment was tried to estimate the quantity of either the Iodine or the Silica. They were both in such minute quantities, that no good practical end would have been secured by it.
From these experiments the quantities of the different ingredients were as follows:—
From Experiment 2 Chlorine….6.296
5 Suplhuric Acid….300
These constituents were probably combined in the following manner:—
Bicarbonate of Lime….0.216
Carbonic Acid ….0.132
Differences will be observed in the aggregate amounts given in the course of the experiments; but, we must observe, that they were conducted with an apparatus, by no means sufficiently delicate for such nice experiments ; and in consequence, errors are not only easily made, but become, also, extremely difficult of detection. The analysis, however, is sufficiently accurate for all practical purposes. It indicates highly laxative properties—effects amply corroborated by experience.
The contents in an imperial gallon of 277-274 cubic inches will be as follows:—
Muriate of Soda………………Grains504.007
Muriate of Magnesia………………."129.361
Muriate of Lime……………………"18.830
Sulphate of Lime…………………..."35.700
Bicarbonate of Lime………………."15.120
Hydriodate of Soda………………..."0.500
The Iodine must have been combined with Soda, in the state of Hydriodate, as no traces of Potassa could be detected. I do not think, from the faint evidences of it discovered, that a much greater quantity than half a grain could have existed in the gallon.
The medical virtues of the Spring are, as already stated, eminently purgative; and the water, therefore, ought not to be taken with too great freedom. It resembles, in some respects, the Airthrey Mineral Spring, near Stirling, in Scotland.
Note.—The Georgian Springs are situated on the borders of Lake George, a small lake in the Township of Plantagenet, on the south side of the Ottawa; about fifteen miles from L'Original and two miles from Grenville. The Springs are on the south by a small stream, called Goorge's River, affording a communication by steaboat. The rock, in the immediate neighbourhood of the Springs, is said to be oomposed of "Freestone." Limestone makes its appearance about one mile and a-half from the Springs, where it forms a high ridge.