Water Quality Pamphlet

By: Carson Whittle

Dissolved Oxygen

Dissolved oxygen refers to the level of free, non-compound oxygen present in water or other liquids. It is an important parameter in assessing water quality because of its influence on the organisms living within a body of water. In limnology (the study of lakes), dissolved oxygen is an essential factor second only to water itself . A dissolved oxygen level that is too high or too low can harm aquatic life and affect water quality.Dissolved oxygen refers to the level of free, non-compound oxygen present in water or other liquids. It is an important parameter in assessing water quality because of its influence on the organisms living within a body of water. In limnology (the study of lakes), dissolved oxygen is an essential factor second only to water itself . A dissolved oxygen level that is too high or too low can harm aquatic life and affect water quality.

pH

  1. In chemistry, pH is a measure of the acidity or basicity of an aqueous solution. Solutions with a pH less than 7 are said to be acidic and solutions with a pH greater than 7 are basic or alkaline. If the water is to acidic it can cause Animals and Plants to die.

Nitrates

Nitrates are a form of nitrogen, which is found in several different forms in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. These forms of nitrogen include ammonia (NH3), nitrates (NO3), and nitrites (NO2). Nitrates are essential plant nutrients, but in excess amounts they can cause significant water quality problems. Together with phosphorus, nitrates in excess amounts can accelerate eutrophication, causing dramatic increases in aquatic plant growth and changes in the types of plants and animals that live in the stream. This, in turn, affects dissolved oxygen, temperature, and other indicators.

Temperature

The most common physical assessment of water quality is the measurement of temperature. Temperature impacts both the Chemical and Biological characteristics of surface water. It affects the dissolved oxygen level in the water,photosynthesis of aquatic plants, metabolic rates of aquatic organisms, and the sensitivity of these organisms to pollution, parasites and disease. Thermal pollution is the introduction of water that is warmer than the body of water into which it flows. It generally occurs near power plants. These industries discharge hot water that has been used to cool equipment directly into streams. Another source of thermal pollution is urban runoff. This is water that has been heated as it flowed over parking lots, streets and sidewalks.

Turbidity

Turbidity is a measure of water clarity how much the material suspended in water decreases the passage of light through the water. Suspended materials include soil particles (clay, silt, and sand), algae, plankton, microbes, and other substances. If the Levels of Turbidity rise too much it can cause Rupture in pipes and clog the pipes as well.

Bio-indicators

Bio-indicators are species that can be used to monitor the health of an environment or ecosystem. They are any biological species group of species whose function, population, or status can reveal what degree of ecosystem or environmental integrity is present. One example of a group of bio indicators are the copepods and other small water crustaceans that are present in many water bodies. Such organisms can be monitored for changes (biochemical, physical, or Behavioral) that may indicate a problem within their ecosystem. Bio indicators can tell us about the cumulative effects of different pollutants in the ecosystem and about how long a problem may have been present, which Physical and chemical testing cannot. A biological monitor, or biomonitor, can be defined as an organism that provides Quantitive information on the quality of the environment around it. Therefore, a good biomonitor will indicate the presence of the pollutant and also attempt to provide additional information about the amount and intensity of the exposure.