Globally, one in nine people use water from unsafe sources. Even if you’re in a developed country, you may still experience water quality issues. Germs and chemicals from farming and other commercial activities occasionally make it into the water supply, impacting public health. If you’re in an area with older buildings, for example, pipe corrosion and other issues may affect the water. With the right water quality monitoring system, you can tackle these issues before they become dangerous and keep the water supply clean.
Why Water Quality Monitoring Matters
Water is vital to everyone on the planet, yet it’s easy to take clean, drinkable water for granted. In reality, our world is full of chemicals and other pollutants that can contaminate drinking water. While most waste management systems are adequate for treating water in highly populated areas, there is no way to guarantee access to high-quality water unless you monitor it directly. Your water could be contaminated with construction pollution or other airborne toxins in the area.
Key Parameters in Water Quality Assessment
Most water quality testing services measure the following:
- Temperature: Because this property is basic and easy to measure, it helps ensure other measurements are accurate.
- Dissolved oxygen: Dissolved oxygen refers to the level of oxygen that has dissolved in the water. This impacts the water’s ability to support marine life.
- pH: Measuring pH levels indicates whether water is acidic, basic, or neutral. This number fluctuates as chemicals, pollution, and other substances enter the water supply.
- Conductivity: Water is a natural conductor of electricity. By measuring its conductivity levels, water quality consulting services can note changes and impurities.
- ORP: Short for oxidation-reduction potential, ORP refers to how well lakes, rivers, and other natural bodies of water can break down waste products, such as dead marine life or chemicals.
- Turbidity: This term refers to the water’s appearance. Cloudy or murky water indicates higher levels of particulates such as clay, algae, and more.
Different types of water quality monitoring equipment may measure other parameters, but these are the most common.
Methods and Technologies for Water Quality Monitoring
Typically, water quality monitoring is a time-consuming process requiring laboratory analysis. The research team has to collect samples at selected sites, bring them into the lab, run a series of tests, and record the results. However, technology is evolving to help automate some of these processes, making it easier to assess water quality.
Many companies are using programmable water quality sensors, which monitor key parameters and transmit the data to an app using Internet of Things (IoT) technology. With these advances in water quality monitoring equipment, researchers, water quality monitoring consultants, and others can actively assess salinity, acidity, temperature, pH, and more.
Access to real-time data gives these individuals valuable information, which they can use to detect water pollutants and other changes that might impact a building’s water supply. Some of these systems produce reliable data with just a few parameters, while others offer a more comprehensive assessment of the water quality.
Applications and Benefits of Water Quality Monitoring
As technology improves, water quality monitoring systems are becoming smarter, with the ability to report minute changes. Instead of having to regularly collect and analyze samples, research teams can continuously monitor the water quality at a site and help ensure access to pure water for the people and wildlife that depend on it to live.
Real-time data helps flag potential threats to human health. For example, if a water-monitoring sensor shows the presence of deadly bacteria in the water supply, government officials can enact health protocols, aggressively treating the water before it enters homes and commercial buildings and warning residents not to swim or otherwise interact with the contaminated water.
Many communities also have water quality regulations for homes and commercial buildings. Using water quality monitoring sensors helps government officials make sure the local water supply meets these standards to keeps people safe.
Water monitoring systems also play a critical role in any environmental assessment. Slight changes in water temperature or pH can have a ripple effect on the ecosystem, potentially harming vital species within the water.
Data Collection, Analysis, and Interpretation
Once you place a water quality sensor in a body of water, it collects data on preprogrammed parameters. The data is then transmitted to a cloud-based system, where you can access it with a computer or mobile app.
Water quality management professionals may enter this data into a separate program for analysis. You might be looking for water contamination or groundwater quality. Whatever your goal may be, the right program will allow you to track and compare the data over time.
For example, if you’re interested in environmental protection, you might monitor the water's pH levels. You would use your app to compare the pH levels over time to make sure they're stable. If you notice a drastic change, it may signal a potential environmental problem.
With the right water quality monitoring equipment, you get a dashboard highlighting various data points. This makes environmental monitoring a breeze since you can quickly track changes with various metrics. Look for a program that will also give you raw data so you can use your own analytical techniques to monitor the water quality.
Ensuring Effective Water Quality Management With the Right Solution
Attune offers real-time energy and water management solutions that allow you to easily monitor, visualize, analyze, and control potential issues as they arise. We offer hardware and software that work together as part of a smart building system that collects energy and water data before transferring it directly to your app.
With this system, you can keep an eye on your water quality at all times. As an added bonus, you can also monitor water usage within commercial buildings, which allows you to detect potential water leaks and other issues before they become costly.
Learn more by scheduling a demo today.