Water Quality Training Pt1


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Part 1 - presented at the Ohio Environmental Council's 2009 Clean Water Conference

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Water Quality Training Pt1

  1. 1. CHEMICAL WATER QUALITY What is water quality? ASSESSMENT TRAINING Federal Clean Water Act, 1972 states “The objective of the Clean Water Act is to Prepared for: restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and Ohio’s Volunteer Monitoring Training Program Ohio’ biological integrity of the Nation’s waters.” Nation’ waters.” Instructed by: Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, and Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and University’ Public Affair Day 1, 2009 What is water quality? Chemical water quality Physical Chemical Biological Temperature pH Bacteria What parameters to sample Suspended solids Dissolved oxygen Algae Where and when to sample Turbidity Nutrients Fish Sampling techniques Field measurements vs. laboratory samples Water color Acidity Macroinvertebrate Analytical Methods (Appendix C) Stream substrate Alkalinity Velocity Conductivity Metals (inorganic and organic) What parameters to sample? Parameters Nutrients Temperature • Common field • parameters are: Important because it affects the rates of many • Specific of the biological and chemical processes in • Temperature Conductance the water. • Turbidity • Fecal indicator Important for determining DO, pH, and • Dissolved oxygen bacteria conductivity. • pH Essential in documenting thermal alteration of a system. • Alkalinity/acidity Field measurement: A liquid in glass thermometers or probe 1
  2. 2. Parameters Parameters Turbidity - describes how the particles suspended Dissolved oxygen (DO) - is the measure of the in the water column affect its clarity. amount of oxygen in the water. Soil particles, algae, or other substances such as Necessary for both biological and chemical suspended metals in the water most often cause processes in the water. turbidity. Its presence (or lack of) is also important Turbidity is expressed in intensity of light scattered by information for the design of water treatment particles in the water. systems. DO is measured in mg/l or as the percent of Turbidity can be measured using a turbidimeter. turbidimeter. saturation, which is dependent on water Monitoring the effects of runoff and help develop temperature. trends in increased erosion in a watershed over time. Usually measured with titration (field or lab) or DO sensor (field only) Parameters Parameters pH - is controlled by the interrelated chemical Total Alkalinity - is the measure of the reactions that produce and consume hydrogen capacity of the water to neutralize acid. ions. It is a measure of hydrogen ion activity in In streams heavily effected by acid both the water. alkalinity and acidity may be present or only • Critical factor in many chemical and biological acidity with no alkalinity to buffer it. processes in a stream. Alkalinity is typically reported as mg/L of • pH is measured on a scale of zero to 14 Standard pH units calcium carbonate (CaCo3). It is an aggregate • pH probes, indicator strips, measure of the total amount of bicarbonate, •color wheels, etc… etc… carbonate, and hydroxide ions. Parameters Parameters Phosphorous - is one of the foundations for Total Acidity - is the measure of the excess of the food web of a river system. It rarely is hydrogen ions over basic ions. found in nature as pure elemental phosphorus, Total Acidity is expressed in mg/L. When but more often as organic or inorganic the buffering system is unable to react phosphate. anymore, usually at a pH of 4.2, the stream or • Inorganic phosphates are those that are readily available and needed by needed water body becomes acidic. plants. • Organic phosphates are commonly used in detergents/soaps. • Excess phosphates cause “sudsy/foamy” looking water. sudsy/foamy” 2
  3. 3. Parameters Parameters Nitrate - is the form of nitrogen essential to ORP- Oxidation Reduction Potential provides ORP- plant growth and building proteins. a measure of the water’s oxidizing or reducing nature. water’ It is useful to assign a value to a reducing or Excess nitrates lead to increases in plant growth. oxidizing environment. The oxidizing nature of They are a good indicator of raw sewage or excess water has an implication on the ability of water to fertilizer in a stream system. support life and on the waters corrosive properties. In the field nitrates are generally measured with ORP is measured with a hand held probe and is titration kits and a color index recorded to the nearest millivolt. Temperature millivolt. should also be recorded when taking ORP measurements. Parameters Parameters Specific Conductance is the measure of the Fecal indicator bacteria - are different ability of water to pass an electric current. types of bacteria that are common and can be It is very useful as a general measure of water quality. used as an indicator of raw sewage in a stream. It is a function of the types and quantities of Most commonly monitored are the bacteria that dissolved substances in the water. are associated with pathogenic organisms The basic unit of measurement is microsiemens per including: (μ centimeter (μS/cm) Total Coliform Specific Conductance is most commonly measured Fecal Coliform with conductivity probes/meters. Escherichia coli (E. coli) (E. Parameters BREAK! Total Coliform –fecal coliform and other non-non- fecal bacteria (just for drinking water purposes) Fecal Coliform – a subset of total coliform more directly related to feces (raw sewage residential or animal waste) Escherichia coli (E. coli) – is fecal (E. bacteria specific to human or other warm blooded animal feces (best indicator for human health risk) 3
  4. 4. Where to sample When to sample The sampling point is selected based on the Criteria to consider: specific information to be obtained. Stage (base flow, high flow, low flow) Discrete discharge - as close to the source as possible. Tributary mouth - upstream far enough that mainstem water is Seasonality not influencing the water quality. Current rainfall conditions Two sources of water are mixing - the sample is taken in a Frequency of samples to be collected at each location where sufficient mixing has occurred. site Take the sample where velocity is sufficient at a Sampling strategy dependant distance from the banks (in the middle of the current if possible). Long-term monitoring, reconnaissance, bacteria, etc… Site Description Site Description Useful for return sampling events Record a general description: Monitoring changes through time Qualitative – reference to a permanent feature Record the following: Physical including: visible pollution sources, The landowner and contact info, conditions of the riparian zone, banks, stream Permission for access and access instructions, characteristics (color, odor, substrate, Name of road, township, county vegetation, canopy, water depth/level, recent Mark sample location as accurately as possible on a topographic map and record GPS weather conditions, etc…. etc… Mark the sample location with survey tape. Site Numbering Sampling Methods Site numbering is essential to allow each Field measurements should represent the natural individual site location to have a unique identity. condition of the surface water system at the time On the following page 19 is an example of of sampling. Ohio EPA’s river mile numbering convention EPA’ Appendix C of the Administrative Code 3745-4- 05 provides a table of acceptable analytical methods for Level 1 and 2 credible data 4
  5. 5. Sampling methods Sampling methods Calibrate instruments Stabilization Criteria Test instruments Temperature +/-0.2 deg C +/- Stabilize instrument Conductivity <100 mS/cm +/- 5% mS/cm +/- Repeat sampling for accuracy >100 mS/cm +/- 3% mS/cm +/- PH +/- 0.1 unit +/- DO +/- 0.3 mg/L +/- Turbidity +/- 10% +/- Sampling Methods Sampling Methods Preservatives: Water quality samples types for laboratory Nitric Acid (cation/anions) (cation/anions) analysis: Sulfuric Acid (nutrients) Grab sample Hydrochloric Acid (ferrous iron) Integrated sample Composite sample No Preservatives: (Bacteria, pH, Alkalinity, Filtering samples Conductivity, Total Suspended Solids, etc…) etc… Under turbid conditions Excess metal particulates suspended in the water Sampling Methods Field safety Shipping and Transport Safety issues with sample collection and the appropriate use and disposal of materials. Samples labeled Read the accompanying materials safety data sheet Sealed in water tight bags with ice (MSDS). Packed in coolers (4 degrees Celsius) When using chemicals wear gloves and goggles. Chain-of-custody attached Chain- of- Carry first aid kit and eye washing liquids. When handling surface water, be certain not to have contact Holding times with open sores or cuts. Do not sniff, taste, or touch chemicals. Dispose of all chemicals and containers using MSDS specified procedures. Keep MSDS available for easy use. Wash hands thoroughly when done. 5
  6. 6. Field Safety Field Sessions Avoid dangerous situations. High flow in streams can be deceiving deceiving Equipment calibration, maintenance, and in its depth and its force. Do not attempt to enter a stream during during flooded conditions. field note-taking Wear appropriate clothing like hip or chest waders Chain-of-custody forms, QAQC, and holding Good foot wear for walking on slippery banks and rocks. times Life jackets are suitable precautionary equipment. Demonstration of field parameters Be aware of poisonous vegetation and dangerous animals. measurements Be aware of traffic Demonstration of water Always wear rubber gloves in known or suspected sewage impacted quality sample collection streams Wash your hands thoroughly when done. Carry hand sanitizer if Teams practice using hand-washing facilities are not nearby. hand- equipment and sampling Sample with a partner. 6