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FAQ: How does Turbidity & Suspended Solids differ?

Posted by Aidan Patton on February 4, 2021
suspended solids

One of our frequently asked questions is: How does Turbidity & Suspended Solids differ?

Turbidity is a direct measurement of how cloudy/hazy water is and is measured in NTU (Nephelometric Turbidity Unit). This measurement is universal and can be used in all water types and for all particle types suspended in water. Turbidity is usually calibrated in ‘off-the-shelf’ formazin standards. 

Suspended solids are measured in mg/L (weight of solid matter per litre of water). It is related to turbidity but it is not exactly the same. This is because different particles at different sites and in different water types won’t all create the same level of turbidity. For example milk is very turbid but would have low dry weight of solids. Effluent from a gravel  quarry may have the same turbidity measurement but the dry weight of solids would likely be very high. Therefore in order to measure in mg/L it is essential that the turbidity probe is calibrated in a standard that is representative of its intended use. 

In short, the Partech turbidity/suspended solids monitors all directly measure turbidity. Using a site sample it is possible to calibrate that turbidity measurement to a site specific suspended solids (mg/L) measurement.

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