Turbidity and suspended solids are two parameters used to measure the quality of water. Both are related to the amount of particles present in the water, but they differ in how they are measured and what they indicate about the water quality. In this answer, we will discuss the differences between turbidity and suspended solids, including their definitions, measurement techniques, and implications for water quality.
Differences Between Turbidity and Suspended solids:
Definition: Turbidity is the measurement of the cloudiness or haziness of water caused by the presence of suspended particles such as sediment, algae, and other microorganisms. Suspended solids, on the other hand, are the particles that are physically suspended in water and do not dissolve, such as sand, silt, and clay particles.
Measurement techniques: Turbidity is measured using a turbidimeter, which measures the scattering of light by suspended particles in the water. The results are expressed in nephelometric turbidity units (NTU) or formazin nephelometric units (FNU). Suspended solids, on the other hand, are measured by filtering a water sample through a membrane filter and then drying and weighing the particles left on the filter. The results are expressed in milligrams per liter (mg/L) or parts per million (ppm).
Implications for water quality: Turbidity and suspended solids both have implications for water quality. High levels of turbidity can indicate the presence of contaminants such as sediment, algae, and other microorganisms that can affect water taste, odor, and color. High turbidity can also interfere with disinfection processes and promote bacterial growth. Suspended solids can also indicate the presence of pollutants in the water, such as sediment and other organic matter. High levels of suspended solids can affect water clarity and light penetration, which can affect aquatic life.
Conclusion: In summary, turbidity and suspended solids are two parameters used to measure the quality of water. Turbidity is a measure of the cloudiness or haziness of water caused by the presence of suspended particles, while suspended solids are the particles that are physically suspended in water and do not dissolve. Turbidity is measured using a turbidimeter, while suspended solids are measured by filtering and weighing particles in the water. Both parameters have implications for water quality and can indicate the presence of contaminants that can affect water taste, odor, and clarity, as well as aquatic life. It is important to monitor both parameters to ensure the safety and quality of drinking water and the health of aquatic ecosystems.