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Measures of Water Quality. Introduction. The United States Geographical Survey monitors waterways all over the country, tracking all of the most important factors that have an impact on water quality . . Temperature. Taken and recorded every time a sample is gathered.

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Presentation Transcript
introduction
Introduction
  • The United States Geographical Survey monitors waterways all over the country, tracking all of the most important factors that have an impact on water quality.
temperature
Temperature
  • Taken and recorded every time a sample is gathered.
  • Important indicator of changes in water quality
  • All aquatic organisms have a preferred temperature range
  • Influences water chemistry – higher temperatures allow for more dissolved minerals, less dissolved gases (like Oxygen)
  • USGS data for streams and rivers in Maryland
color and odor
Color and Odor
  • Can indicate other measurements/tests needed
  • Should be continually monitored & logged for changes
  • Should be described with every sample taken
turbidity
Turbidity
  • Measure of clarity
  • High turbidity causes lakes to fill in faster, places for pollution to attach, reduced plant productivity, habitat destruction (from sedimentation)
  • Measured with a “turbidity tube” (at right)
  • USGS Data for Maryland
slide6
pH
  • Measured on a scale of 0-14, 7 is neutral.
  • pH reading of 5 is 10X more acidic than pH of 6
  • Determines the solubility of water, and the availability of nutrients to organisms
  • USGS Data for Maryland Streams & Rivers
alkalinity
Alkalinity
  • Measure of water’s ability to neutralize acid
  • Important because it indicates how healthy a stream is, how it resists changes
  • Higher readings are better
  • Measured in PPM of Calcium Carbonate CaCO3
nutrient balance
Nutrient Balance
  • Nitrates
    • Critical for plants & animals
    • Denitrification (getting Nitrogen gas from nitrates) = important task in ecosystems
    • Nitrate load being too high causes algae blooms
  • Phosphorus
    • Also critical for plants and animals
    • Often the “limiting factor” in streams
    • Too much phosphorus can also cause algae blooms
dissolved oxygen do
Dissolved Oxygen (DO)
  • Cooler water can hold more dissolved Oxygen gas (O2)
  • 10 PPM is optimal, but not necessary for life
  • DO readings should be taken every few days, at the same time each day.
  • USGS Data for Maryland Streams
fecal bacteria
Fecal Bacteria
  • Presence indicates animal/human pollution
  • Not always an indicator of an unhealthy stream, just of poor drinking quality
  • Testing generally indicates presence, not levels
works cited
Works cited
  • http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/temperature.html
  • http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/phdiagram.html
  • http://www.nsf.org/consumer/drinking_water/dw_well.asp?program=WaterTre#problems
  • http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/dissolvedoxygen.html
  • http://cfpub.epa.gov/eroe/index.cfm?fuseaction=detail.viewInd&lv=list.listbyalpha&r=216594&subtop=200
  • http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/turbidity.html
  • http://water.epa.gov/type/rsl/monitoring/vms510.cfm
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