Turbidity is the level of transparency that is lost due to higher amounts of suspended particles in water. The increase in turbidity also changes the appearance of water from clear to a cloudy or murky appearance. Turbidity is measured in terms of NTU (Nephelometric Turbidity Unit). When turbidity is less than .1 NTU, the water has low turbidity. It will also be more transparent and cleaner. Low turbidity also prevents bacteria and pathogens from contaminating the water.
Heavy rains and storms can increase turbidity in lakes, reservoirs, wells, and other water collection sources. Public water systems are required to test the turbidity in water and water treatment plants may add aluminium sulfate or a cationic polymer to lower the turbidity in water. However, water turbidity can increase, so homes and businesses without a water filtration and purification system may still experience turbid water from time to time.
Is turbid water safe?
Turbidity does not pose health risks, but it can indicate the presence of bacteria, viruses, and pathogens in the water that can cause cramps, diarrhea, headaches, and nausea. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends boiling turbid water for three (3) minutes and let it cool before drinking. Do not use ice, wash dishes, brush your teeth, or bathe with turbid water.
Does turbidity affect pH balance?
There is no known correlation between pH and turbidity. However, the same conditions that increase turbidity, like heavy rainfall, can lower the pH and make the water more acidic.
Should I have my water tested to measure turbidity?
Anytime you notice a change in water or if it doesn’t look, smell, or taste right, you should get a water test.
How do you treat turbidity in water?
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