Dry periods also decrease flow which reduces the amount of oxygen churned into the water. After use, these altered pH water is discharged into local sewage treatments plants. Temperature impacts the rates of metabolism and growth of aquatic organisms, rate of plants' photosynthesis, solubility of oxygen in river water, and organisms' sensitivity to disease, parasites, and toxic materials. © 1995-2020 Grand River Conservation Authority, 400 Clyde Road, PO Box 729, Cambridge ON, N1R 5W6. Waves and tumbling water mix atmospheric oxygen with river water. The Grand River Conservation Authority assumes no responsibility for the correctness of the information contained in this website nor liability to any user of such information, regardless of the purpose. The optimum pH for river water is around 7.4. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, some GRCA programs and services are suspended or operating in a limited capacity at this time. However, drastic changes in pH can have detrimental effects on river health. Surface waters typically range from pH 6.5 to 8.5, while groundwater ranges from pH 6 to 8.5. Freshwater lakes, ponds and streams usually have a pH of 6-8 depending on the surrounding soil and bedrock ²¹. In the Cuyahoga, the average turbidity from a study of twelve sites was 24.9 Nephelometer Turbidity Units (NTU), with a range of 60 units. This water typically is corrosive and soft. A deficiency in this area is a sign of an unhealthy river. Testing pH levels indicates the acidity or alkalinity of a sample. At a higher temperature, plants grow and die faster, leaving behind matter that requires oxygen for decomposition. Bacteria which decompose plant material and animal waste consume dissolved oxygen, thus decreasing the quantity available to support life. There are a variety of factors affecting levels of dissolved oxygen. There are physical factors that can lessen the amount of oxygen dissolved in the Cuyahoga. The pH decreases as the concentration of the HCl increases. Her past work experience includes teaching pre-nursing students beginning biology, human anatomy and physiology. Water with a very low or high pH can be a sign of chemical or heavy metal pollution. Values below 7 indicate a more acidic solution, while values above 7 indicate a more alkaline solution. These measurement include dissolved oxygen, temperature, and pH, which is a measure of hydrogen ion concentration. Limestone bedrock found throughout the Grand River watershed buffers the acidity of the water and tends to cause river water to be more basic, rather than acidic. The atmosphere is a major source of dissolved oxygen in river water. An adequate supply of dissolved oxygen gas is essential for the survival of aquatic organisms. The pH factor is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity (basic) of water. The pH of the river is normally neutral. The usual pH range of water is from 0 to 14. An extreme recorded value of 60 NTU indicates water that is relatively clear to a depth of five inches, while at the other extreme, a value of zero NTU corresponds to water with visibility to five feet, which is the maximum depth that can be measured with this turbidity test. We recommend updating your browser to its most recent version at your earliest convenience. In deeper lakes where stratification (layering) occurs, the pH of water is generally higher (7.5-8.5) near the surface and lower (6.5-7.5) at greater depths ¹⁰. This phenomenon is called cultural eutrophication. As a result, fish that are not indigenous to the region and not yet adapted for these shifts often die. The pH of a body of water is affected by the dumping of chemicals into the water by individuals,industries or communities. Extremely high levels of dissolved oxygen usually result from photosynthesis by a large amount of plants. Public tenders and requests for proposals. The effects of low pH levels can be lessened by the presence of limestone along river banks and in soil. Testing pH levels indicates the acidity or alkalinity of a sample. U.S. natural water falls between 6.5 and 8.5 on this scale with 7.0 being neutral. Warning! A pH value of 7 indicates a neutral solution, meaning water is neither acidic or basic. Oxygen is also produced by rooted aquatic plants and algae as a product of photosynthesis. Many industrial processes require water of exact pH readings and thus add chemicals to change the pH to meet their needs. A pH of 8.0 should be sufficient to support most river life with the possible exception of snails, clams, and mussels, which usually prefer a slightly higher pH. Values below 7 indicate a more acidic solution, while values above 7 indicate a more alkaline solution. U.S. natural water falls between 6.5 and 8.5 on this scale with 7.0 being neutral. Tel: 519-621-2761. In the Cuyahoga, dissolved oxygen levels in one study of fourteen sites ranged from 1.5 to 90 percent saturation, with an average of 13.2 percent. As a result, parts of the site may not function properly for you. Dissolved oxygen levels in sections of the river in which plants are the major contributor of oxygen fall sharply at night because photosynthesis ceases. Great uncontrolled plant growth, especially algal blooms, is often the result of fertilizer runoff. Other external factors that can cause fluctuations in the river pH include agricultural runoff, acidic mine drainage (AWD), and fossil fuel emissions such as carbon dioxide, which creates a weak acid when dissolved in river water. Despite this fact, the organisms that depend on rivers require some equilibrium. A value of 24.9 indicates that a device called a Secchi disk can be seen underwater up to a depth of ten to twelve inches. The fluctuations in acidity in the river over a given day are the result of plant processes going on in the river. A pH value of 7 indicates a neutral solution, meaning water is neither acidic or basic. The temperature of the Cuyahoga as tested in September 1991 did not exceed 20 C or 68 F and thus did not create a climate for many fish diseases. Rivers have some capacity to prevent changes in pH by the structure and composition of the river bed. Water with a pH less than 6.5 is considered acidic. Low pH levels cause fish kill by stressing animal systems and causing physical damage, which in turn makes them more vulnerable to disease.

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