The Connection Between Water Electrical Resistivity and Purity

Written by Economic Development Jobs on January 3, 2017. Posted in Resistivity monitor, Water quality analysis methods, Water quality indicators

Water resistivity monitor

Despite the fact that the planet is covered in water, millions of people lack access to clean drinking water. About 3.1% of all deaths around the planet are caused unsafe water, inadequate water or the lack of proper sanitation. These are also the causes of 3.7% of all disability adjusted life years around the world. Around the globe, there are about 2.5 billion people who lack access to proper sanitation. One way to test water purity is to measure the water electrical resistivity level.

Pure water does not conduct electrical charges well. The higher the water electrical resistivity is, the more pure. Scientists use water resistivity monitors to measure this. Using water resistivity meters is a cost effective way to measure the purity of the water source. The reason for this is that when ions are added to water the water conductivity goes up. There is a direct connection between the amount of salts that are in the water and the electrical conductivity. When an element gains or loses an electron in its valence shell, it gains an electrical charge. The total dissolved solids or TDS is the measurement of contaminants in the water supply.

When scientists or others are looking to measure the water electrical resistivity, they correct the sample to 25 degrees celsius. This is also referred to as R-25. The water resistivity measurement is made between two square plates that are one centimeter by one centimeter. The two plates are placed one centimeter apart. Round probes are used to measure the water electrical resistivity level.

The probes that are used in water electrical resistivity measurements also read the temperature of the sample. This is to make the correction to 25 degrees celsius possible. Most water electrical resistivity meters will measure both the water resistivity and conductivity at the same time. The reading is impacted by the temperature of the sample. As the water is heated up, it becomes more conductive and as it cools down the conductivity goes down and the resistivity goes up. That is one reason researchers and scientists do the temperature correction.

Absolutely pure water has a resistivity that is 18.2 ohms per centimeter ay the standard temperature of 25 degrees celsius. If this number goes down, it is a reliable indicator of the presence of contaminants in the water. As various salts and minerals are dissolved in a water source, the conductivity and corresponding resistivity. Changes in water electrical resistivity and conductivity can also indicate the presence of organic material in the water sample. When researchers suspect that there is organic matter and contaminants in a water source, and that is seen by measuring the water electrical resistivity and conductivity, to differentiate between the presence of salts vs. organic matter can be found only by running more testing. Chromatographic testing can be completed on the water to more correctly identify what impurities are in the water in question.

There is not one set amount of TDS that may be in a water source. Whether the water is from a natural source or a treated one, there can be an almost infinite range of TDS levels that can be considered to be normal. Drinking water can have varying amounts of magnesium, calcium and sodium. Most cities and localities add things such as fluoride and chlorine. When bacteria has been found in a water source, chlorine is often added to clean the water and make it safe for drinking and bathing. This has an impact on the water electrical resistivity and conductivity levels. The salts that are in the water are not always causes by contamination but are often there naturally. They are introduced to the water naturally.’

Because there are often salts and other substances in water naturally, the way testing water electrical resistivity works is not by comparing absolute readings but by looking at different readings for changes. If a clean water source becomes more or less resistant to conducting an electrical charge, it indicates changes to the quality of the water. These tests provide cost effective ways for researchers to check on the quality of a water source and use that to determine if it is safe for people to drink, cook and bathe in.

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