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Mike's Rover Diary Day 1 2 3

Day Three

I’m all ready to go, having packed four columns with charcoal ready to take the different water samples – when Iain and Ellen arrive with their water samples! But I have only a few hours in which to clean the samples up, and this process, I know, is going to take time. They have to percolate down the columns slowly in order for the separation of impurities to take place. By 4 pm it’s clear that I’m not going to do it. This just isn’t going to work. In desperation, I try forcing the liquids down the columns under pressure in order to get at least something out at the bottom that we can blind test. In the circumstances, I'm just going to have to do the best I can in the short time available (Producer's note: In the programme there wasn’t time to show the clever pumping system that Mike used to force water through the columns.)

In the end, things work out better than I expected. Most of the dirty water samples have been cleaned up quite dramatically, but only one – the solar still water - passes Iain's blind-tasting test. It would have worked much better if I’d had more time to work on them. Not a good start to the series, but then again, not entirely a total failure either.

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Mike filters water
Scientists Diaries

Water or wheels? How did the other members of the Rough Science team cope with the first challenge? Read their diaries to find out: