Water with a high turbidity level likely contains diseases, bacteria, and protozoa. A frequent turbidity test is essential to protect water quality and the public's safety, since the turbidity particles serve as a haven for bacteria.
Therefore, whether you work in the food and beverage industry, the pharmaceutical industry, or you have concerns about the water supply, have your water tested because the turbidity measurement will reveal how safe your water is to drink. Since, turbidity's value fluctuates a lot, frequent measurements are required.
What is the drinking water's turbidity?
Importantly, water contains suspended solids, which are made up of various particles of varied size. If a sample is left standing, some of the particles are big enough and heavy enough, to eventually fall to the bottom of a container (these are the settleable solids). Only slowly, if at all, will the smaller particles settle (these are the colloidal solids). The water seems murky due to these impurities.
An excessive amount of turbidity, or cloudiness, in drinking water is both unattractive, and a sign that it shouldn't be consumed. It may result in gastrointestinal illness, water-borne illnesses, and other health issues.
A measurement of turbidity is how much suspended particles have affected the water's transparency. It is used as a criterion to assess the water quality.
The causes of water turbidity
The amount of cloudiness in the water is influenced by a number of factors. Among them are:
- Plant life
- Erosion-related sediments
- Bottom sediments that have been re-suspended
- Discharge of waste
- Algal expansion
-Runoff from cities
Maximum level of Turbidity in drinking water
The World Health Organization recommends that the turbidity of drinking water,must be no more than 5 NTU and, ideally, no higher than 1 NTU.
Effects of high water turbidity
Since, oxygen dissolves more readily in colder water, the presence of suspended particles in water absorbs heat from sunlight, making the turbid water warmer and lowering the oxygen content. In addition, warm water loses its suitability for several organisms.
Notably, the light is scattered by the suspended particles, which reduces plant and algae photosynthetic activity and lowers the oxygen content. As a result, murky water is harmful to insect larvae and fish eggs. Moreover, it clogs the filters.
Turbidity itself poses no danger, but it is a warning indication of harmful substances in the water supply system, and an indicator of the presence of pathogenic microorganisms.
What causes water to become turbid?
1: The turbidity of waters is caused by organisms like phytoplankton, erosion, and sewage from heavily populated areas.
2: Agriculture, mining, and construction all disturb the soil, which can result in higher silt concentrations, which wash into streams during storms. Turbidity is also a result of storm water runoff from paved surfaces, like parking lots, bridges, and roadways.
What does turbidity indicate?
The level of turbidity in drinking water indicates the likelihood of gastrointestinal disorders, developing. Pathogenic bacteria and viruses have the ability to attach to the suspended materials. The cleaning procedure is therefore hampered by these solids.
In water bodies like rivers, lakes, and reservoirs, high turbidity levels can lessen the quantity of light, which reaches lower depths. This can hinder the growth of some aquatic plants, and have a severe impact on species that depend on them, such as fish and shellfish. A fish's capacity to take up dissolved oxygen will be hampered by high turbidity levels.
How to determine turbidity of drinking water?
Nephelometric Turbidity Units, or NTUs, are used to measure turbidity. A nephelometer, also known as a turbidimeter, measures the amount of light that is scattered at an angle of 90 degrees, as a beam of light passes through a sample of water.
When turbidity reaches 4 nephelometric turbidity units (NTU) or above, it becomes apparent and has an impact on how consumers perceive and accept drinking water.
Turbidity is also a significant aesthetic characteristic.
When particle matter, such as clay or silt, finely divided organic matter, plankton, or other minute organisms are present, it reduces the sample's clarity. Instead of passing through the sample in straight lines, these result in light being absorbed and scattered.
The values are given in units of nephelometric turbidity (NTU). The technique is applicable to drinking, surface, and saltwater’s with turbidities between 0 and 40 NTU. Dilution of the sample can result in higher readings.
Method of nephelometry
It is based on a comparison between the sample under test and a standard reference suspension, under identical conditions for the intensity of light dispersed by each.
1: Coloured solutes- These interfere by reducing the turbidity values.
2: Sample tubes - Glass that is transparent and colourless should be used for the sample tubes.
3: Turbidimeter - The turbidimeter should have a nephelometer with a light source for the sample illumination, and one or more photoelectric detectors with a readout mechanism to show the intensity of light, dispersed at right angles to the incident light's direction.
It should be constructed so that, in the absence of turbidity, very little stray light reaches the detector, and it should be free of considerable drift, after a brief warm-up period.
Laboratory tests for turbidity
For accurate findings, it is crucial to get your water tested for turbidity by an accredited laboratory. To evaluate turbidity accurately and reliably, a laboratory analysis is required.
How may we be of help?
Environmental and biological variety protection is a priority for Netsol Water. In order to maintain biodiversity as a whole, we provide a wide range of cutting-edge treatment plants, including waste management, wastewater treatment, sewage treatment, effluent treatment, air pollution control, water management, RO Plants, water softeners, etc.