What is turbidity in drinking water?

Turbidity is a measure of water clarity, how much the suspended material and dissolved  solids decrease the passage of light through the water. Cloudiness of a fluid (water) can be caused by individual particles (total suspended or dissolved solids) that are generally invincible to the naked eye. 

Turbidity can affect the colour and taste of water.  High turbidity will absorb more free chlorine during drinking water treatment and can indicate a potential risk to treating water effectively.  High turbidity can affect the quality of your laundry and stain your clothes.

Turbidity can be reduced by allowing water to settle in the case of flowing water, or lifting your water inlet pipe off the bottom of stagnant water.

Filtration, for eg sand filtration will reduce turbidity.

Treatment with Aluminium sulphate and settling and filtering will reduce turbidity, however always consult your NEMA consultant before you do this.

In the case of boreholes, especially new boreholes, pumping water for longer will reduce the turbidity, then re-sample the water.  Always protect boreholes and wells from in-flow of surface water, which will increase the turbidity.

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