Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Rockhopper

Chlorine smell from clay water ?

Recommended Posts

Rockhopper    11

I've been experimenting with some locally dug clay (Southwest Ohio). The clay is dark gray, with a LOT of quartz sand in it, and fires to a light buff with dark specks at ^6.

 

In processing the clay to remove sand & gravel - and in throwing it - I've noticed that there is a distinct chlorine smell released from the water used.

 

I'm using regular city tap water, which I know has chlorine in it - but when I mix my clay into the water, it releases a very strong chlorine smell - like an over-chlorinated swimming pool. I first noticed it when liquifying the clay to extract excess sand. Today, I was throwing some of this clay and noticed the same smell coming from my throwing water. (I was throwing at a different location, with a different municipal water source.) I've never noticed this with the commercially prepared clay bodies I've used.

 

Would love to hear ideas as-to what might be in the clay that is triggering the release of chlorine from the water.

 

(Don't know if it's related, but there is also a dark, oily substance embedded in the clay - that swirls to the surface when I use a drywall 'mud' mixer to blend it to a slip consistency for straining out sand & gravel.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bciskepottery    925

Can you describe the area where you are digging the clay? I suspect you might be getting more than just clay from the source . . . water treatment plant nearby? landfill? flood plain, run-off from industrial park, illegal dumping, etc. You might be able to check with the local farm bureau, forester, or geologist; they could tell you if there is anything suspect in the area that might be causing the problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pres    896

Can you describe the area where you are digging the clay? I suspect you might be getting more than just clay from the source . . . water treatment plant nearby? landfill? flood plain, run-off from industrial park, illegal dumping, etc. You might be able to check with the local farm bureau, forester, or geologist; they could tell you if there is anything suspect in the area that might be causing the problem.

 

It might be a good idea to send a sample out to be tested-just to be on the safe side. You never know what it out there if the deposit is anywhere near a road or old mine site. Too many materials can be absorbed in to the body from the skin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rockhopper    11

Can you describe the area where you are digging the clay? I suspect you might be getting more than just clay from the source . . . water treatment plant nearby? landfill? flood plain, run-off from industrial park, illegal dumping, etc. You might be able to check with the local farm bureau, forester, or geologist; they could tell you if there is anything suspect in the area that might be causing the problem.

 

 

(Hmm... I thought the forums were set up to send me an email notice of replies... maybe I've got something set up wrong - but I haven't had a chance to re-visit since posting, and didn't know anyone had responded.)

 

I'm digging in a creek-bed, at bottom of a fairly steep hill. Area is residential. Was all farm-land until late 1950's, then gradually developed into residential - but still mostly wooded immediately adjacent to stream. Theere has always been some clay visible along the creek - but this particular deposit has been recently exposed by bank erosion from the stream. As far as I know, there has never been any industrial activity or landfill adjacent to or upstream from the site - and the bank where I'm digging is where my parents have lived since 1957, in a house that was built in the early 1920's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rockhopper    11

 

 

It might be a good idea to send a sample out to be tested-just to be on the safe side. You never know what it out there if the deposit is anywhere near a road or old mine site. Too many materials can be absorbed in to the body from the skin.

 

 

Any recommendations where to send for (free) testing ? I've considered picking up one of those DIY lead test kits from a hardware store, but wouldn't know what to test for other than that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bciskepottery    925

Most testing labs will charge . . . but, see if there is a soil and conservation office in your area; they might have a field test kit for use, or do it for you. That would give you an idea of what you are looking for and then could send it to a lab for formal analysis. Landscapers test for PH balance . . . that might be a possiblity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would check with a state conservation agency that looks at water quality. Since the stream is at the bottom of a hill in a residential area, the soil may be permeated with runoff from lawn chemicals. Until you know what it is, you might want to keep your hands out of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×