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Water Analysis Solutions

One of the greatest challenges in water analysis is the monitoring of multiple metals in a large number of samples with varying concentrations. We are specialized in supplying high-productivity instruments which are applied for water quality analysis as it is essential for protecting human health.

 

A Vital Source of Life

About seventy percent of the Earth’s surface is covered with water, and yet there is a dire water shortage. This is because 97.5 percent of it is salt water, and almost three-quarters of the freshwater is frozen in ice caps. Consequently, more than one-third of the world’s population, that is 2.4 billion people, has no access to clean water.

Indeed, the availability of clean, fresh water is one of the most pressing issues facing humanity today. Water is essential for health, agriculture, security, power generation, transportation as well as ecosystems. Furthermore, access to water is a human right as it is the most basic element of life.

Without safe drinking water, human beings cannot survive. Water-related diseases are among the most common causes of illness and death, and more than three million people die every year from disease caused by unsafe water. The majority of people affected by contaminated and unhealthy water live in developing countries.

Health depends on the availability of nutrition, and poor productivity of food triggers malnutrition. Food production can be affected hugely by the existence of adequate water resources and efficient irrigation systems. In other words, water is vital for the provision of nutrition.

Water for different purposes has its own requirements for composition and purity. Each body of water needs to be analyzed on a regular basis to confirm to suitability. The types of analysis could vary from simple field testing for a single analyte to laboratory-based multi-component instrumental analysis.

Types of Water Quality Tests, Equipment and Analytical Methods

The measurement of water quality is a very exacting and time-consuming process, and a large number of quantitative analytical methods and instrumentations are used for this purpose.

Portable, Handheld, and Benchtop instruments are available to test parameters including pH, conductivity, hardness, colour, turbidity, odour, taste, oxidation-reduction potential (ORP), dissolved oxygen and CO2, total dissolved solids (TDS), suspended solids, total hydrocarbons (TH), and other water quality characteristics.

Multiparameter analyzers, which are capable of measuring various user-selectable parameters, waterproof instruments, and meters that can test from only a few drops of water are also available.

Testing procedures and parameters may be grouped into categories such as physical, chemical, bacteriological and microscopic:

• Physical tests indicate properties detectable by the senses.
• Chemical tests determine the amounts of mineral and organic substances that affect water quality.
• Bacteriological tests show the presence of bacteria, characteristic of faecal pollution.

In industrial water conditioning, chemical analyses are needed to govern the treatment processes. The analysis should be conducted promptly after sample collection so that the chemical nature of the sample does not change.

In order to ensure that results obtained from an analysis are useful, it is necessary to secure a representative sample from the system to be tested. Sample lines must be flushed before samples are taken, and all sampling locations and procedures must be well defined.

For most tests, the samples should be cooled to room temperature (21-26°C, 70-80°F) prior to testing. They should also be filtered through 0.2-2.5 µm filters if required.

Commonly conducted water quality tests include:

Temperature testing

Testing the temperature helps determine the rate of biochemical reaction in an aquatic environment and indeed whether they are able to occur at all. If the water temperature is too elevated, this can limit the water’s ability to hold oxygen and decrease organisms’ capacity to resist particular pollutants.

pH testing

Measures the acidity of water. Most aquatic organisms are only able to survive within a pH range of 6 to 8.

Chloride test

Chloride is usually present in fresh and salt water. However, its levels can be exacerbated as a result of minerals dissolving and industrial pollution

Salinity testing

Measures the total of all non-carbonate salts dissolved in water. Measuring groundwater salinity indicates how salty your topsoil may become if the watertable rises.

Dissolved Oxygen Test

Measures the amount of oxygen dissolved in water. Without this, aquatic life is unable to conduct cellular respiration and is thus a key indicator of water health.

Turbidity test

Measures the amount of particulate matter that is suspended in the water, or more simply, how clear the water is. If high levels of turbidity are present, photosynthesis is affected as light is unable to penetrate, increasing the water temperature.

Nitrate and Phosphate

The presence of these essential nutrients is a good indicator of strong plant life. However, the addition of artificial nitrates and phosphates through detergents, fertilisers or sewage can be harmful and result in eutrophication, generally in the form of unwanted algal blooms.

Pesticides

We measure whether any pesticides are present and their concentration levels.

Redox

The measurement of the reduction-oxidisation potential of a solution, which indicates the electron activity. Micro-organism growth is highly dependent on these levels.

Electrical conductivity

Estimates the total amount of solids dissolved in the water. This can be a good indicator of the level of salinity.

Metals

Testing that indicates the presence of a suite of metals which are not naturally occurring in water. Heavy metals (Aluminium, Antimony, Arsenic, Beryllium, Bismuth, Copper, Cadmium, Lead, Mercury, Nickel, Uranium, Tin, Vanadium and Zinc) can find their way into water bodies through natural processes or human activities such as mining, processing of minerals, use of metals as containers and also transportation through metallic pipelines. Heavy metals are known to harm kidneys, liver, nervous system and bone structure.

Lead poisoning in humans can cause problems in synthesis of haemoglobin, kidneys, gastrointestinal tract, joints and reproductive systems and acute or chronic damage to the nervous system. Lead can also cause osteoporosis and weaken bones because it starts replacing Calcium in the bones.

Long-term exposure of cadmium leads to renal dysfunction. High exposure can least to lung cancer and osteodystrophy. Nickel has numerous reported mechanisms of toxicity including redox – cycling and inhibition of DNA repair as well as exhibiting allergic effects.

Exposure to mercury can lead to tremors, gingivitis and other psychological changes with spontaneous absorption and congenital malformation. Mono methyl mercury causes damage to the brain and the central nervous system, congenital malformations and development changes in young children. Vanadium has toxic effects on the liver, kidney, nervous and cardiovascular systems and blood forming organs.

Other tests

Petroleum hydrocarbons (TRH), Monocyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (BTEX) and Poly Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs, including benzo (a) pyrene)

The state of the water can change frequently as a result of:

• Soil entering the water through events such as erosion, land clearing and overgrazing.
• Chemicals entering the water through fertilisers, pesticides and leeching
• Pollution entering the water from the refuse of factories, sewage systems, mines and service stations
• Rubbish disposal (both small scale and from landfill)

Regular water testing can be helpful over a long period of time to monitor any changes that occur in water quality. If this occurs, it is essential that the monitoring occurs at fixed intervals from the same point. However, it can also be a good idea to conduct water testing in response to an unexpected event such as a chemical spill.

Common new methods of water analysis often involve the highly sophisticated electronic instrumentation:

• Ion Chromatography is used to measure trace levels of anions in feedwater, steam, condensate, and boiler water.
• Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AA), Inductively Coupled Ion Spectroscopy (ICP), X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy, and other laboratory procedures are used routinely to measure many elements at trace levels in a fraction of the time required for wet chemical methods. Some instruments can provide concurrent read-outs of over 40 elements in ppb measurements.
• Gas Chromatography (GC), or Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectroscopy (GC/MS), quantitatively separates and detects volatile components (e.g., neutralizing amines) in boiler condensate.
• High-Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) permits the separation and detection of trace organic compounds in antimicrobial applications.
• Total Organic Carbon (TOC) measurements are used to determine the amount of organic compounds present in water as a result of water treatments or process leaks. This process is also useful for measuring organic fouling of resinsin demineralizer systems.
• Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (NMR) provides an analytical tool to aid in determining the structure of organic polymers and other organic water treatment chemicals.
• Fourier Transform Infrared Analysis (FT-IR) permits the qualitative and quantitative determination of the composition of boiler and cooling system deposits.
• Specific ion electrode detection is an electrometric method that can measure trace amounts of both anions and cations in water and is within the reach of most laboratories and testing sites.

Our Complete Solutions for Water Analysis

We carry a large selection of water quality instruments necessary to analyze contaminants in all forms of water, from drinking, waste, surface, and groundwater, to properly monitor water purification processes so that you can make the right decisions for your analysis needs. Our portable, handheld and benchtop instruments which can be found in almost any laboratory environment, including wastewater and drinking water testing, pharmaceutical and chemical testing, the food and beverage industry, government facilities, privately owned laboratories, and contract manufacturers provide the most accurate and reliable results.

Experts throughout the water industry, from electrical power generations to petrochemical manufacturing and municipal wastewater treatments rely on our products for general physical and chemical indicators of their water quality to create a healthier, safer, and cleaner environment.

We offer solutions to comply with EPA regulations by analyzing wastewater pollutants and drinking water contaminants which include Ion Chromatography, Atomic Absorption, GC/MS, ICP-OES, ICP-MS, electrochemistry, UV-Vis, colorimetry, turbidity, and many other equipment for your analysis. All of our products comply with the strictest national regulations, including the ASTM.

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