Discover The 5 Ways Suspended Solids Impact Your Water

Suspended Solids in Water

Discover The 5 Ways Suspended Solids Impact Your Water

What are Suspended Solids?

Suspended solids are tiny particles or substances that exceed 2 microns which is approximately the size of the width of a human hair. These minuscule dangers float or remain suspended in water, affecting their quality and visual appearance. Examples are either organic material such as plants, algae, decaying branches, and microorganisms, or inorganic material such as sediment, industrial pollutants, and mineral particles.

Examples of these tiny particles are either organic material such as plants, algae, decaying branches, microorganisms, or inorganic material such as sediment, industrial pollutants, and mineral particles.


Where do these Suspended Solids Originate From?

They are diverse in their origins, arising from a multitude of sources that impact water quality and environmental ecosystems. These tiny particles, ranging from organic to inorganic matter, are critical to identify and understand. Here’s a more detailed exploration of where suspended solids originate:

  1. Soil Erosion and Runoff: Rainwater or runoff over bare soil surfaces carries soil particles, silt, and sediment, affecting water quality and aquatic ecosystems.
  2. Algae Blooms: Algae proliferation can release organic matter and fine particles into water, often worsened by nutrient-rich runoff from agriculture and urban areas.
  3. Wastewater Effluents: Treated wastewater still contains suspended solids, including residual organic matter, posing a risk to downstream water quality.
  4. Human Pollution, Including Industrial Discharges: Industrial discharges and urban runoff introduce suspended solids into water bodies, impacting water quality and aquatic life.


The 4 Ways Suspended Solids Impact Your Water

  1. Excessive levels of these tiny particles can lead to murky water, reducing clarity and blocking sunlight to the lower levels of the ecosystem. This not only impacts the aesthetic appeal of water bodies but also disrupts aquatic ecosystems and can harm aquatic life. Blocking sunlight directly effects the amount of photosynthesis by aquatic plants which leads to the demise of phytoplankton, which itself is a vital food source for many small aquatic species.
  2. Suspended solids coat the waterbed, thereby suffocating fish, eggs, and other embedded species. High levels of suspended solids can clog fish gills, leaving them unable to breathe.
  3. Suspended solids can also lead to higher costs of water treatment, and a decline in fish resources.
  4. These tiny particles can cause chemical alterations in the water releasing contaminants such as heavy metals, pesticides and phosphorus.

Who is this Testing Recommended For?

Suspended solids testing is vital across industries. It is essential for…

  • Construction projects managing sediment runoff.
  • Manufacturers reducing waste.
  • Wastewater facilities meeting regulatory standards.
  • Environmental agencies monitoring water quality, agriculture promoting sustainability, and aquaculture maintaining healthy environments.
  • Industrial facilities ensuring compliance.


How do we at Southern Scientific test your water sample?

The Suspended Solids Measurement is used in environmental and water quality testing to quantify the amount of solid particles that are suspended in a water sample.

In the test in the laboratory, a quantity of water is filtered through a microfine filter paper with the aid of a vacuum. The filter paper is dried and weighed on a 4-figure decimal place balance. The result is expressed in milligrams of suspended solids per litre of water, a typical suspended solids limit for treated wastewater is preferably under 20 milligrams per litre. The test is performed to ISO accreditation standard.

Suspended Solids filtration



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