Water Turbidity Definition

Water Turbidity Definition
From: https://kingcounty.gov/~/media/services/environment/wastewater/education/docs/Water-Quality-Abiotic-Lesson.ashx?la=en

Water Turbidity Definition

Water Turbidity definition is the cloudiness or haziness of a fluid caused by large numbers of individual particles that are generally invisible to the naked eye, similar to smoke in air. The measurement of turbidity is a key test of water quality.

The turbidity of a water sample measures of the extent to which the intensity of light passing through water is reduced by the suspended matter.

Traditionally, the turbidity of water is based upon a comparison of the amount of light passing through a given water sample with that passing through a standard sample. Turbidity is measured in standard units defined in terms of the depth of water to which a candle flame can be clearly distinguished.

Today, a Secchi disk water lowered by hand into the water to the depth at which it vanishes from sight. The distance to vanishing is then recorded. The clearer the water, the greater the distance. The effect of which is to disturb clearness and diminish the penetration of light.

Turbidity is caused by several factors such as microorganisms and organic detritus, silica and other sands and substances including zinc, iron and manganese compounds, clay or silt.

In addition, the result of natural processes of erosion or as waste from various industries such as mining, dredging, logging and others.

The terms “turbidity and suspended solids” are sometimes used synonymously. This can produce errors in data interpretation. A correction function to adjust the turbidity value to represent the concentration of suspended solids. The correction function calculated for each water quality station because the function may vary from location to location.

As a final comment, you will have more reliable water quality data if turbidity and suspended solids are retained as independent parameters.

End of Water Turbidity Definition

More on Water Turbidity…
Water Turbidity Effects on Fish and Aquatic Life
Water Turbidity Effects on Fish

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Water Sediment and Particulates

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