Water Resources--Office of Water Quality
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Turbidity measures the scattering effect that suspended solids have on light: the higher the intensity of scattered light, the higher the turbidity.1 Primary contributors to turbidity include clay, silt, finely divided organic and inorganic matter, soluble colored organic compounds, plankton, and microscopic organisms (American Public Health Association and others, 1992). The measurement is qualitative and cannot be correlated directly as micrograms per liter of suspended solids.
Determination of turbidity is a common component of water-quality assessments.
surface water, the clarity of a natural body of water is used routinely as
an indicator of the condition and productivity of the aqueous system.|
|In ground water, turbidity commonly is measured during well development and well purging to indicate the extent to which particulates occurring as a result of well installation and sampling activities have been removed.|
1Turbidity measurements have not been systematically researched, tested, compared, or quality assured within the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Recommendations in this section were compiled from the references cited, instrument handbooks, field experience, and a limited series of tests on available instruments conducted by the USGS Hydrologic Instrumentation Facility (HIF).
Webversion by: Genevieve Comfort
Last Modified: 22JUNE98 ghc