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Water Quality: The Basics NSTA Regional Conference Omaha, Nebraska October 19 th , 2005 PowerPoint Presentation
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Water Quality: The Basics NSTA Regional Conference Omaha, Nebraska October 19 th , 2005. Why is Water Quality Important? Effects all humans Safe drinking water Allows for food productions and SAFE food products Effects Wildlife Health domestic and wild animals

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Presentation Transcript
slide1

Water Quality:

The Basics

NSTA Regional Conference

Omaha, Nebraska

October 19th, 2005

slide2

Why is Water Quality Important?

  • Effects all humans
  • Safe drinking water
  • Allows for food productions and SAFE food products
  • Effects Wildlife
  • Health domestic and wild animals
  • Diversity of Life (insects or
  • macroinvertebrates)
  • Recreation
  • Swimming
  • Water Sports
  • Fishing
slide3

What determines the Quality of Water?

  • Individual test parameters:
  • pH
  • Temperature
  • Dissolved Oxygen
  • Clarity
  • Turbidity
  • Secchi
  • Total Nitrogen
  • Total Phosphorus
  • Salinity
  • Alkalinity
slide4

pH

pH: Negative logarithm of the hydrogen ion concentration

pH = -log [H+]

H+ OH-

OH-

OH- H+

OH- H+ H+

H+ OH-

H+ H+ H+

OH- H+

H+ OH-

OH- H+

H+ H+

Each whole pH below 7 is ten times more acidic than the next higher value. For example, a pH of 4 is ten times more acidic than a pH of 5. The same holds true for pH values above 7. Each value above 7 is ten times more basic than the next lower pH value.

slide5

Temperature

  • Important because:
  • Dissolved Oxygen
  • Temperature = Dissolved Oxygen
  • -Decreases in Dissolved Oxygen can cause problems
  • for wildlife (ex. fish kills)
  • Fluctuations can cause problems for many plants …which moves up the food web.
slide6

Dissolved Oxygen

A measure of free O2 (gas) in the water.

<5 ppm – dangerous zone

5 – 10 ppm – adequate zone

>10 ppm – good

slide7

Clarity

Turbidity

A measure of the suspended solids, which reduce the transmission of light through scattering or absorption.

Secchi

Measuring how far down a person can see the secchi disk. Somewhat objective, but fairly accurate. Easy to discuss results among non-scientists.

slide8

Nitrogen

  • Nitrogen is a nutrient, like calcium or potassium.
  • Nitrogen is available in the environment naturally.
  • The problem is when more is added – fertilizers
  • or confinements.
slide9

Phosphorus

  • Phosphorus is also a nutrient, like nitrogen, calcium,
  • or potassium.
  • It is also available in the environment naturally, but
  • phosphorus is more limiting in freshwater ecosystems.
  • Adding too much phosphorus (making it no linger limiting)
  • can cause algal blooms.
slide10

Salinity

  • A measurement of the salt content in the water
  • < 5 psu = freshwater
  • > 5 psu = brackish water
  • > 32 psu = sea water
  • Not necessarily “table salt” (NaCl)…
  • - Examples of salts: sodium calcium magnesium,
  • potassium, sulfate, and chloride.
  • - All dissolved from geologic materials …
  • rocks…the bottom of the lake.
slide11

Conductivity

  • A measure of the electromagnetic charge of the water.
  • Measures the electrical charge between two electrodes (metal rods) in the water.
  • -For there to be an electrical charge, there must be free ions or dissolved salts (TDS).
  • -The higher the TDS or free ions, the more electrical current that can occur, causing higher conductivity.

134 uS

slide12

Alkalinity

  • The ability of a lake (or body of water) to buffer from
  • changes in pH.
  • Causes in changes in pH:
  • discharge
  • plant productivity
  • animal waster, processes
  • Why is alkalinity important?
  • Drastic or constant changes in pH can cause problems for the biota of the lake’s ecosystem.

ACID