WATER QUALITY MONITORING
It is essential for devising water quality management programme to properly use water in any project. It gives information for following decisions to be taken :
COLLECTION OF WATER SAMPLES
For physical examination, water can be collected in fully cleaned ordinary buckets or plastic cans. If the water is to be collected for chemicals tests, the container, usually glass bottles of more than 2 liter capacity should be thoroughly washed and cleaned; and then the water should be collected in it. For the collection of water for bacteriological tests, the person who collects the water must be free from any disease. The containers and bottles must be cleaned with sulphuric acid, potassium dichromate or alkaline permanganate, and then, they should be thoroughly rinsed with distilled water and finally sterilization should be done. Immediately after collection of the samples, bottles should be closed and covered with clot to prevent accumulation of dirt, etc. The testing of water samples should be done as early as possible.
Following points should be kept in view while collecting the samples:
(i) If the water is to be collected from a tap or faucet, sufficient quantity of wastewater should be allowed to pass through the tap, before collecting sample from because it will eliminate the stagnant water.
(ii) If the water is to be collected from the surface stream or river, it should be collected about 40-50 cm below the surface to avoid the collection of surface impurities oils, tree leaves, etc. which should also removed by strainers while collecting the water through intakes.
(iii) In case the water is being collected from the ground sources i.e. through well or tube well, sufficient quantity of water should be pumped out before collecting the samples.
Table 1.4.1. Principal constituents of concern in wastewater treatment [2, 3].
|Suspended solids||Lead to sludge deposits and development of anaerobic conditions|
|Biodegradable organics||Depletion of natural oxygen and to the development of septic condition; Composed principally of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, biodegradable organics, etc.; Measured in terms of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and chemical oxygen demand (COD).|
|Pathogens||Communicable disease s|
|Nutrients||Nitrogen and phosphorus are principal limiting nutrients for growth; Cause eutrophication in lakes & ponds.|
|Heavy metals||Added wastewater from commercial and industrial activities; Many of the metals are highly toxic at small concentration also.|
|Priority pollutants||Organic and inorganic compounds having known or suspected carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, teratogenicity and/or high acute toxicity.|
|Refractory organics||Organic compounds like surfactants, phenols and agricultural pesticides, etc. resist conventional method of wastewater treatment.|
|Dissolved inorganics||Inorganic constituents such as calcium, sodium and sulphates are added to the original domestic water supply as a result of water use and may have to be removed if the wastewater is to be reused.|
The physical tests include the following tests:
Temperature: The temperature of water is measured by means of ordinary thermometers. Density, viscosity, vapor pressure and surface tension of water are all dependent upon the temperature. The saturation values of solids and gases that can be dissolved in water and the rates of chemical, biochemical and biological activity are also determined on the basis of temperature.
The temperature of surface water is generally same as the atmospheric temperature while that of ground water may be more or less than atmospheric temperature.
Color: The color of water is usually due to presence of organic matter in colloid condition, and due to the presence of mineral and dissolved organic and inorganic impurities. Transparent water with a low accumulation of dissolved materials appears blue. Dissolved organic matter such as humus, peat or decaying plant matter, etc. produce a yellow or brown color. Some algae or dinoflagellates produce reddish or deep yellow waters. Water rich in phytoplankton and other algae usually appears green. Soil runoff water has a variety of yellow, red, brown and gray colors [4, 5].
The color in water is not harmful but it is objectionable. The color of a water sample can be reported as Apparent or True color. Apparent color is the color of the whole water sample and consists of color from both dissolved and suspended components. True color is measured after filtering the water sample to remove all suspended material. Before testing the color of the water, first of all total suspended matter should removed from the water by centrifugal force in a special apparatus. After this, the color the water is compared with standard color solution or color discs. When multicolored industrial wastes are involved, such color measurement is meaningless.
The color produced by one milligram of platinum in a litre of distilled water has been fixed as the unit of color.
Turbidity: It is caused due to presence of suspended and colloidal matter in the water. Ground waters are generally less turbid than the surface water. The character and amount of turbidity depends on the type of soil over which the water has moved. Turbidity is a measure of the resistance of water to the passage of light through it. Turbidity is expressed in parts per million (ppm or milligrams per litre or mg/1). Earlier, the turbidity produced by one milligram of silica in one litre of distilled water was considered as the unit of turbidity. Turbidity was previously determined by Jackson candle Turbidity units (JTU). This unit is now replaced by more appropriate unit called Nephelometric Turbidity unit (NTU) which is the turbidity produced by one milligram of formazin polymer in one litre of distilled water.
Nephelometry method has better sensitivity, precision and applicability over a wide range of particle size and concentrations as compared to older methods .
Tastes and odors: Tastes and odors in water are due to the presence of (i) dead or living microorganisms; (ii) dissolved gases such as hydrogen sulphide, methane, carbon dioxide or oxygen combined with organic matter; (iii) mineral substances such as sodium chloride, iron compounds; and (iv) carbonates and sulphates. The odor of water also changes with temperature. The odor may be classified as sweetish, vegetable, greasy, etc. The odor of both cold and hot water should be determined. The intensities of the odors are measured in terms of threshold odor number (TON). TON indicates how many dilutions it takes to produce odor-free water. In this method, enough odorfree water is added to the flasks containing different amount of sample to create a total volume of 200 mL.
Where, A is the volume of sample water and B is the volume of odor-free water added to make 200 mL of total water.
Specific conductivity of water: The total amount of dissolved salts present in water can be estimated by measuring the specific conductivity of water. The specific conductivity of water is determined by means of a portable ionic water tester and is expressed as micro-mho per cm at 25°C. ‘mho’ is the unit of conductivity and it equals to 1 Ampere per volt. The specific conductivity of water in micro mho per cm at 25°C is multiplied by a coefficient generally 0.65 so as to directly obtain the dissolved salt content in mg/L or ppm. The actual value of this coefficient depends upon the type of salt present in water.