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Assess Turbidity in Water

1,266 views | Last edited by liz 5 months ago | #14953

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As explained in @donblair's primer, measuring turbidity means "measuring the amount of suspended solids in water -- solids that haven't fully dissolved". That is, "turbidity, an optical technique for assessing suspended solids in liquid -- is an important water quality parameter. Typically, light is shone into a liquid sample, and the amount of light scattered back out of the sample (off of particles suspended in it) is measured; the intensity of this scattered light is considered to be related to the amount of suspended solids in the sample." (reference)

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This page needs help!

  • Info about regulations
  • Info about ecological or human health impacts
  • Advocacy leverage points
  • Constraints we're working within: cost, complexity, sensitivity, time

There are a LOT of resources available on these pages by @donblair and others:


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Here's a list of different turbidity sensors and measurement systems. See below for some Do-It-Yourself approaches to measuring turbidity, and this page for more information on how turbidity sensors works.

(see Water sensors for more, and click here to add to this table)


Activities for people to test methods (these develop over time)

Add an activity  or request an activity guide you don't see listed

Activities should include a materials list, costs and a step-by-step guide to construction with photos. Learn what makes a good activity here.

Existing work

Title Author Updated Likes
PureLab:Experiment and Installing Water Filters Record In Banmentun @shanlter 5 months ago
7 Ways to Measure, Monitor, and Evaluate Water Quality @anngneal 6 months ago
What are some different ways to use turbidity sensors? @lekhidugtal 6 months ago
MicrobeMeter - an innovative photometer for continuous measurement of microbial growth @humanetechnologies 9 months ago
LaMotte and Earth Force low cost Water Monitoring kit @stevie over 1 year ago
Turbidity Sensor Assembly @MadTinker over 1 year ago
Can the spectrometer or turbocharger be used for lal testing? @Ag8n over 1 year ago
How do I choose a method for monitoring turbidity? @stevie over 1 year ago
Has anyone built a secchi disk before? @stevie over 1 year ago
What should we look for when sourcing turbidity tubes? @stevie over 1 year ago
Photometer Kit idea @programmer1200 over 1 year ago
What are different methods of measuring water turbidity? @warren over 1 year ago
How is water turbidity regulated? @warren over 1 year ago
How can we detect contaminants in water samples with a DIY spectrometer using reagents? @warren almost 2 years ago
Can a DIY spectrometer be used to measure water turbidity? @warren almost 2 years ago
In addition to testing for pH, what other water quality testing have you utilized, such as turbidity, conductivity, dissolved oxygen (DO), etc.? Can you share your experience with these? @gilbert almost 2 years ago
Draft: Find the concentration of a liquid with a DIY spectrometer @warren almost 2 years ago
What's an easy way to compare two liquid samples with a spectrometer? @warren almost 2 years ago
Water Filter Effectiveness @Mempet about 2 years ago
Rough prototype of video analysis tool for monitoring a pixel's brightness/color over time @warren about 2 years ago
Monitor transparency, dissolved oxygen, ORP, and ammonia from a river @shanlter about 2 years ago
Is there a water quality equivalent of Smoke School, the EPA air pollution observer certification? @warren about 3 years ago
Design Specifications for Field Camera @tonyc about 3 years ago
Turbidity Sensor @bhickman over 3 years ago
Removing ambient interference from turbidity measurements through signal modulation @donblair over 3 years ago
Turbidity sensor prototype @donblair almost 4 years ago
Photo Documentation of Turbid Waters for Advocacy @gretchengehrke about 4 years ago
Turbidity 001 @donblair about 4 years ago
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