A Comparison of Turbidity Sensors for Continuous Field Deployment Part 1

Mic Clayton - Tas Department of Primary, Industries, Parks, Water and Environment , 28 August, 2003

The Department of Primary Industries Water and Environment operates a number of stream monitoring sites around Tasmania measuring stream levels (flows) as well as a variety of water quality parameters.

Turbidity in water is caused by suspended material such as clay, silt, finely divided organic and inorganic matter, soluble coloured compounds and plankton and microscopic organisms. Turbidity is a measurement of the optical properties of the water body that cause light to be scattered and absorbed rather than transmitted in a straight line through the water. Standard units for turbidity are ‘nephelometric units’ (NTUs) standardised against Formazin solution.

Continuous time series turbidity is measured at a number of sites as part of the water quality monitoring network along with temperature and conductivity parameters.

Data collected at these sites are important components of State (State of Rivers) and Federal (State of the Environment) reporting on water quality in Tasmania.