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Why Water Quality Measurement – An Overview

Water the most essential natural commodity along with air for all living beings that need to be of the quality which meet international standards.

The biggest challenge comes from the fact that state of the water changes frequently as a result of:

· Soil entering the water through events such as erosion, land clearing and overgrazing.

· Chemicals entering the water through fertilisers, pesticides, and leeching

· Pollution entering the water from the refuse of factories, sewage systems, mines, and service stations

· Rubbish disposal (both small scale and from landfill)

Regular water testing helps to monitor any changes over time that occur in water quality.

Following are most used water quality test which are undertaken to ensure compliance to set guidelines with reason thereof :-

Temperature :-

It helps determine the rate of biochemical reaction in an aquatic environment and indeed whether they can occur at all. Elevated temperature limit the water’s ability to hold oxygen and decrease organisms’ capacity to resist pollutants.

pH :-

Measures the acidity of water. Most aquatic organisms are only able to survive within a pH range of 6 to 8.


Chloride is usually present in fresh and salt water. However, its levels can be exacerbated because of minerals dissolving and industrial pollution


Measures the total of all non-carbonate salts dissolved in water. Measuring groundwater salinity indicates how salty your topsoil may become if the water table rises.

Dissolved Oxygen :-

Measures the amount of oxygen dissolved in water. Without this, aquatic life is unable to conduct cellular respiration and is thus a key indicator of water health.

Turbidity :-

Measures the amount of particulate matter that is suspended in the water.

Nitrate and Phosphate:-

Presence is a good indicator of strong plant life. However, the addition of artificial nitrates and phosphates through detergents, fertilisers or sewage are harmful.


Presence of pesticides and their concentration levels.


Micro-organism growth is highly dependent on these levels.

Electrical conductivity:_

This can be a good indicator of the level of salinity.


Heavy metals (Aluminium, Antimony, Arsenic, Beryllium, Bismuth, Copper, Cadmium, Lead, Mercury, Nickel, Uranium, Tin, Vanadium and Zinc) found in water are known to harm kidneys, liver, nervous system, bone structure.

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