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The Role of Turbidity Sensors in Waste Water Treatment
Monday, March 8, 2021

What causes your water to be hazy or cloudy? Is this water even safe to drink?

One important concept when it comes to proper water treatment is turbidity. Keep reading to find out what it is and why turbidity sensors are important.

What Is Turbidity?

Simply put, turbidity is a measure of how clear something is, especially a fluid. When light passes through a medium, some of it can be blocked by imperfections within the medium.

This is the process of scattering. Almost every medium will scatter some light when it passes through because it's nearly impossible to make something that is perfectly clear.

Whether there are imperfections in the material itself or some suspended particles floating around, it will always scatter some light.

But how do you measure how cloudy or clear something is? This again has to do with light. If you produce light at a certain intensity and shine it through a medium, you can measure how much light made it through.

By looking at the difference in intensity, you can tell how much the medium scattered the light and then infer how cloudy the medium is.

Many turbidity measurements are given in terms of Formazin Turbidity Units or Formazin Nephelometric Units. These are similar measurements except the former uses visible light while the latter uses infrared light.

Both of these are measures of the concentration of contaminants within a material, but why are they important?

Why Are Turbidity Sensors Important?

It is incredibly important to know how much contamination there is in some medium. This is especially true in the realm of wastewater treatment where contaminants could affect the health of lots of people.

As part of its process control, every wastewater treatment facility needs to have quality assurance to make sure their water clarity is sufficient for human use.

Between natural things like plankton growth and artificial problems like construction and mining, there is a wide variety of possible contaminants that could pollute a water source.

Whenever it rains, dirt and other pollutants flow into storm drains and eventually make it into the water supply. This process is worse in urban areas.

All of these suspended particles can harbor harmful viruses and bacteria that could infect people when they drink the water.

Higher turbidity levels also contribute to gastrointestinal diseases in humans and other animals. This is why it is important to check the turbidity of water after it has been treated.

Over time, pollutants can clump together to form a thick sludge within the water. Turbidity sensors are important for successful sludge concentration management.

Your Next Project

Now that you know all about what turbidity is and why turbidity sensors are important, it's time for you to decide if they are right for your next project.

If you are interested in a turbidity sensor, please contact us to see how we can help with your water treatment needs.