Water Quality Pamphlet
Created by Aaron Zhang
In chemistry, pH is a measure of the acidity or basicity of a aqueous solution. A pH lower than seven is acidic while a pH higher than 7 is basic or alkaline.
Water has a pH level of 7 which makes it neutral. Surface water tends to range from 6.5 - 8.5 while groundwater tends to range from 6 - 8.5. If the pH level is higher in water, the aquatic organisms living in it could die. pH can also affect the solubility and toxicity of the heavy metals inside of water. If the pH level of water is higher or lower, that could make the water undrinkable.
Dissolved oxygen refers to microscopic bubbles of gaseous oxygen that are mixed in water and available to aquatic organisms for respiration.
Dissolved Oxygen Ramifications
Aquatic organisms depend on DO to survive under water. The oxygen we get and breath come from phytoplankton in the ocean and they create 3/4 of all the Earth's oxygen. Oxygen levels could be reduced by over fertilizing of water plants by run-off.
Turbidity refers to water clarity. Sediment suspended in water increases water turbidity.
Higher turbidity in water increases water temperature because suspended particles absorb more heat. Since it increases the heat, this will lower the amount of DO in the water because the warmer the water, less DO is found. Turbidity also can reduce the amount of light that penetrates the water.
Most aquatic organisms live within a temperature range of +32 F(+0 C) to 90 F(32 C). Rapid temperature changes and temperature extremes can stress aquatic organisms. Temperature affects the oxygen-carrying capacity in water.
If water is to warm there may not be enough oxygen in the water for which fish life can't live in. Cold water can weaken a fish's immune system. If a water is to cold, the fish that live in it will start decreasing until there are few or none at all.
Nitrate is a primary plant nutrient. Nitrate is water soluble and moves easily rom surface to groundwater. During normal circumstances the nitrogen keeps the amount of nitrogen balanced and in demands. However, excessive use of fertilizers and and nutrient rich sewage release have create a surplus of nitrate.
Nitrates form when microorganisms break down fertilizers, decaying plants, manure or other organic residue. To much can make algae and other bacterial organisms grow out of control.
Bioindicators are living organisms who can be used to show the health of a environment or ecosystem.
Some organisms are sensitive to pollution so if there's pollutants in their environment, they may change their morphology, physiology, or behavior.