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Envirothon 2009. Chemical and physical properties of water quality. pH. pH ranges from 0-14 0 is the most acidic 14 is the most basic/alkaline 7 is neutral Most healthy bodies of water in the U.S. are between 6.5 and 8.5. Certain macros exist in certain pH ranges. alkalinity.

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pH
  • pH ranges from 0-14
    • 0 is the most acidic
    • 14 is the most basic/alkaline
  • 7 is neutral
    • Most healthy bodies of water in the U.S. are between 6.5 and 8.5.
    • Certain macros exist in certain pH ranges
alkalinity
alkalinity
  • Alkalinity is a measure of how well water can neutralize acids that might get added
    • Should be between 20-200 mg/L
    • Less than 20 mg/L means the water cannot easily buffer changes in pH
    • Acids can be added from acid rain and other environmental pollutants
    • Determined by the geology (rocks) that the water flows through.
    • Link to Wilkes alkalinity info
dissolved oxygen
Dissolved oxygen
  • D.O. is the amount of oxygen dissolved in a body of water
    • The more O2 that is dissolved, the more that is available to living organisms
    • Changes with temperature
    • Cold water holds more O2 than warm water.
stream velocity
Stream velocity
  • Determined by depth and width of stream
    • Narrow streams are often faster and colder
    • Wide streams are slower and warmer
    • Will have greater velocity if the stream is the same depth all along its route
    • Certain macros are adapted to live in faster streams while others must live in slow water.
water temperature
Water temperature
  • Affects the amount of dissolved oxygen
    • Cooler water holds more oxygen
  • Affects rate of photosynthesis
    • Warmer water = faster photosynthesis
  • Affects organisms’ sensitivity to pollutants
    • Warmer water = higher sensitivity
  • Link to temp website
turbidity
Turbidity
  • Measure of how much suspended matter is in the water
    • Cloudy water has lots of silt, sand, clay and organic material floating
    • Certain macros must live in clear water (clogs up gills, for example)
    • Some macros are adapted to live in more turbid water.
    • Comes from erosion, runoff, algae blooms and sediment disturbances