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Units for Measuring Water Quality PARTS PER MILLION Most dissolved substances measured in parts per million (ppm) or smaller. Mg/L is the same as ppm!

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Presentation on theme: "Units for Measuring Water Quality PARTS PER MILLION Most dissolved substances measured in parts per million (ppm) or smaller. Mg/L is the same as ppm!"— Presentation transcript:

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2 Units for Measuring Water Quality

3 PARTS PER MILLION Most dissolved substances measured in parts per million (ppm) or smaller. Mg/L is the same as ppm!

4 1000 mL water gram. Dissolved in That’s 1/1000 th gram or 1 milligram

5 ppm = (mg/L) For example, a dissolved oxygen reading of 8 ppm means there are 8 milligrams of oxygen for every 1000 milliliters of water. 8/1000 gram  1000 milliliters = 8/1,000,000 (8 parts per million)

6 Water Quality Indicators We will now take a look at the water quality indicators.

7 TURBIDITY Turbidity refers to water clarity. Sediments suspended in the water increase turbidity.

8 A secchi disk is one type of instrument used to measure turbidity.

9 TOTAL SOLIDS (TS) Measure of the sediment suspended in water. Related to turbidity.

10 TEMPERATURE Most Cedar River aquatic organisms live within a temperature range of degrees Measured with field thermometers –but digital probes are more accurate. Measured in Celsius degrees.

11 14 Dissolved Oxygen (ppm) ____________________________________ WinterSummer Temperature affects the oxygen-carrying capacity of water. Rapid temperature change and temperature extremes = stress on aquatic organisms. As the water warms, the amount of dissolved oxygen decreases.

12 pH Measure of the hydrogen ion (H+) concentration. The pH scale is zero to 14. 7= neutral, <7=acidic, >7 = basic (or alkaline). The optimal pH for most aquatic organisms exist within a pH range of 6.5 to 8.2.

13 Carbon dioxide reacts with water to form a weak acid called carbonic acid. pH tolerance for most aquatic life

14 DISSOLVED OXYGEN Dissolved oxygen is a product of photosynthesis, aeration and diffusion. The warmer the water, the less oxygen it can hold.

15 DISSOLVED OXYGEN Most organisms need at least 5 or 6 ppm of oxygen in order to survive. Even cold water rarely contains more than 15 ppm. Summer is often a time of oxygen stress for aquatic organisms.

16 Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) estimates the amount of biodegradable organic matter Measured the same way as Dissolved Oxygen, except it has to set for 5 days before you run the test. Goal is to see the CHANGE in starting and ending DO over the 5 day period. Change should be low if water is not polluted.

17 Phosphate (PO 4 ) Phosphate’s concentrations in clean water is generally low; phosphorus is used extensively in fertilizer and other chemicals.

18 Phosphate primary sources to surface water are detergents, fertilizers, and natural mineral deposits

19 Phosphate High levels can over stimulate growth of aquatic plants and algae. This will cause high DO consumption by bacteria and death to BMIs & fish

20 NITRATE (NO 3 ) Nitrate is a primary plant nutrient. Nitrate is water soluble and moves easily from surface to groundwater. Excess nitrate causes algal blooms that reduce water quality.

21 Excessive use of fertilizers and nutrient rich sewage release have created a surplus of nitrate. Result is eutrophication from excess algae and bacteria with reduced dissolved oxygen.

22 This is a eutrophic lake!

23 Fecal Coliform Most bacteria are important in nutrient and other organic cycles. As organisms such as salmon or algae die and decay, the high bacterial load rapidly consumes dissolved oxygen.

24 Certain types of bacteria indicate animal and human waste pollution. Escherichia coli are coliform bacteria found in the intestines of warm-blooded organisms. Most strains are harmless but one E. coli strain can cause severe diarrhea and kidney damage.


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