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Phosphate as a Water Quality Parameter

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The presentation provides a brief background on phosphorus, introduces phosphates, gives examples of forms of phosphates. It further describes how to test for the forms of phosphates as well as how to regulate water phosphate level. It ends with some basic facts "Did you know".

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Phosphate as a Water Quality Parameter

  1. 1. 30-Jun-14 PHOSPHATE AS A WATER QUALITY PARAMETER By Kumeh Mensah Eric BSc. Natural Resource Mgt. (Agroforestry) KNUST Ghana
  2. 2. 30-Jun-14 Presentation Outline  Background  Forms of Phosphate  Uses of Phosphate  The Phosphorus Cycle  Effects of Phosphate on Aquatic Life  Testing for Phosphate  Phosphate level and its effect on aquatic plants life  Regulating Phosphate Levels in Water  Relationship between phosphate and some water quality parameters  Did you know ?
  3. 3. 30-Jun-14 Background  Phosphorus - a primary element in phosphate, is an essential nutrient for all plants and animals.
  4. 4. 30-Jun-14 Background  What are phosphates ?  Phosphates are the salts of various phosphoric acids. Crystals of Ammonium phosphate
  5. 5. 30-Jun-14 Forms of Phosphate 1.Orthophosphates (H2PO4 -/HPO4 2-) Simple ionic forms of phosphates that are readily available to plants.
  6. 6. 30-Jun-14 Forms of Phosphate 2. Polyphosphates (PolyP) - (PHO3)n  A linear, unbranched polymer of orthophosphate residues linked by phosphoanhydride bonds.  PolyP ranges in size from three to over one thousand orthophosphate residues. Brewers yeast
  7. 7. 30-Jun-14 Uses of Phosphate  Animal feed supplements  Fertilizers  Water treatment
  8. 8. 30-Jun-14 Uses of Phosphate  Domestic and industrial detergents  Metal treatment to inhibit corrosion  Ceramic production
  9. 9. The phosphorus cycle 30-Jun-14
  10. 10. 30-Jun-14 Effects of Phosphorus on Aquatic Life  Aquatic plants require phosphates to grow and carry out metabolic reactions.  Phosphates often serve as the limiting factor for aquatic plant growth because they naturally occur only in very low concentrations of 0.03 parts per million (ppm) or less.  When the phosphates level in a certain body of water reaches 0.025 ppm and above, phosphates stimulate plants to grow more rapidly.
  11. 11. 30-Jun-14 Effects of Phosphorus on Aquatic Life  An increase in phosphates and other nutrients that increases the rate of plant growth eventually results in dead plant matter building up in the water.  A condition know as Eutrophication (Algae bloom)
  12. 12. 30-Jun-14 Effects of Phosphorus on Aquatic Life  Eutrophication decrease the amount of sunlight in water bodies and increase the concentration of carbon dioxide when algae die and decompose.  Increasing carbon dioxide deprive aquatic organisms of oxygen and eventually result in asphyxiation of fish and other organisms.
  13. 13. 30-Jun-14 Testing for phosphates  Total Orthophosphate Test  A measure of dissolved and suspended orthophosphate.  EPA approved ‘Ascorbic Acid Method’,  A reagent (either liquid or powder) containing ascorbic acid and ammonium molybdate reacts with orthophosphate in the sample to form a blue compound. The intensity of the blue colour is directly proportional to the amount of orthophosphate in the water.
  14. 14. 30-Jun-14 Testing for phosphates  Total Phosphorus Test  Measures all the forms of phosphorus in the sample (orthophosphate, condensed phosphate, and organic phosphate) Procedure  “Digesting" (heating and acidifying) the sample to convert all the other forms to orthophosphate.  Measure orthophosphate using the ‘ascorbic acid method’. NB: Because the sample is not filtered, the procedure measures both dissolved and suspended orthophosphate.
  15. 15. 30-Jun-14 Testing for phosphates  Dissolved phosphorus test  Measures that fraction of the total phosphorus which is in solution in the water (as opposed to being attached to suspended particles).  It is determined by first filtering the sample, then analysing the filtered sample for total phosphorus.  Insoluble Phosphorus is calculated by subtracting the dissolved phosphorus result from the total phosphorus result.
  16. 16. 30-Jun-14 Phosphate level and its effect on aquatic plants life Total Phosphate Effects on aquatic plant growth 0.025 - 0.1 mg/L Adequate stimulation of plant growth 0.1 mg/L maximum acceptable limit to prevent accelerated eutrophication > 0.1 mg/L accelerated growth and consequent problems
  17. 17. 30-Jun-14 Regulating Phosphate Levels in Water  Addition of chemicals  Coralife's Phosphate Remover,  Sea Chem's PhosGuard  Kent Marine's Phosphate Sponge
  18. 18. 30-Jun-14 Regulating Phosphate Levels in Water  The use of poly – filter pads
  19. 19. 30-Jun-14 Regulating Phosphate Levels in Water  “Vodka Method” + Protein Skimmer
  20. 20. 30-Jun-14 Regulating Phosphate Levels in Water  Repetitive water change
  21. 21. 30-Jun-14 Relationship between phosphate and some water quality parameters  Water Phosphates and Turbidity  Increasing phosphate concentration in water increases turbidity in the long-run.
  22. 22. 30-Jun-14 Relationship between phosphate and some water quality parameters  Increasing amount of phosphates reduces pH making water more acidic in the long-term.  Water Phosphate and pH
  23. 23. 30-Jun-14 Relationship between phosphate and some water quality parameters  Increasing Phosphate reduces dissolve Oxygen content.  Water Phosphate and Dissolved Oxygen OXIX® DISSOLVED OXYGEN TRANSMITTER
  24. 24. 30-Jun-14 Did You Know ?  Phosphorous was discovered by Henning Brand in 1669 when he distilled pure urine.
  25. 25. 30-Jun-14 Did You Know ?  Matchsticks are soaked in ammonium phosphate, which is a fire retardant to prevents them from smouldering after the match has gone out
  26. 26. 30-Jun-14 Did You Know ?  Phosphate molecule make up the base of a DNA
  27. 27. 30-Jun-14 Thank You Please help me improve on the content by posting your comments or by sending them to: elmensinho@gmail.com or elmensinho11@hotmail.com
  28. 28. 30-Jun-14 References  http://www.madehow.com/Volume- 3/Match.html#b date accessed 24th June, 2014.  http://www.macalester.edu/academics/environ mentalstudies/threerivers/studentprojects/ENV I_133_Spr_08/Phosphorus/Phosphorus%20Effects %20Webpage.html date accessed 24th June, 2014.  http://www.waterresearch.net/Watershed/pho sphates.htm 25th June, 2014.  http://www.stevenswater.com/articles/waterp arameters.aspx 25th June , 2014.  http://www.freedrinkingwater.com/water_qual ity/quality1/1-what-nitrate-and-phosphate- do.htm 25th June, 2014.

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