River Monitoring
A Work Group of the Saarland University

Water Quality Indicators


 


Oxygen


daily and seasonal dynamics

important factor for many chemical and biological processes

estimation of biological activity (also eutrophication)

indicator for organic pollution (oxygen consumption)

 


Water Temperature


daily and seasonal dynamics
important factor for many chemical and biological processes
important factor for the solubility of oxygen in water
indicator for impacts of cooling water

 


pH-value


daily and seasonal dynamics
indcator for buffering capacity (depending on the geological circumstances in the catchment)
indicator for industrial contamination
important factor for many chemical and biological processes,

e.g. ammonium-ammonia-equilibrium or bonding/mobilisation effects of pollutants like heavy metals

 


Conductivity


indicator for the geological circumstances in the catchment e.g. (high conductivity in coquina regions)
clue for industrial impacts

 


Nitrate


cause of eutrophication
important indicator for diffuse pollution by fertilizers (wash-out by interflow)
indicator for the efficiency of sewage plants

 


AmmoniA


important clue for punctual sources (sewage plants, combined sewer overflows)

 


Ortho-Phosphate and Total-Phosphorus


as minimum factor a main cause of eutrophication
important indicator for differentiation of diffuse and punctual sources (difference between total-P and ortho-P)

 


TOC (Total organic Carbon)


indicator for organic pollution by surface flow and erosion

evidence for punctual sources (sewage plants, combined sewer overflows)

 


Turbidity


impact of particles via erosion and from point sources

 


Chlorophyll


documents the composition of the biocoenosis
indicator for eutrophicating processes

 


Redox Potential


bonding/mobilisation effects of pollutants like heavy metals in the sediment
indicator for the self-purification capacity

 

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Water Quantity


base for the calculation of loads
base for estimation of wash-out and dilution effects 

 


Targets > Water Quality Indicators