Water Quality Monitoring
There is no single or simple measure of water quality. Water quality is evaluated differently depending on what the ultimate use of the water is. For example, water quality may be evaluated based on:
When testing water quality, we can focus on three broad categories:
physical characteristics: such as temperature, colour, suspended solids and turbidity
chemical characteristics: such as nutrients, minerals, metals, oxygen, and organic compounds
biological characteristics: such as the types and quantities of aquatic plants, animals, algae, bacteria and protozoan parasites.
During AWQA Day, we focus on the first and second categories: physical and chemical characteristics. By looking at temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH and turbidity we are measuring water quality characteristics that can have important implications for fish and wildlife habitat, outdoor recreation and human health.