In our latest “Science in 60 Seconds” segment we take a look at water conductivity. Water conductivity is the measure of a water’s ability to pass an electrical current. Because dissolved salts and other inorganic chemicals conduct electrical current, conductivity increases as salinity increases, which is the overall saltiness of a body of water. Science in 60 Seconds: Water Conductivity – VIDEO LINK
- 0 – 5 Microsiemens Per Centimeter (uS/cm) – Very low conductivity because moisture collecting in the atmosphere and falling to earth has very little to no interaction with chemicals and minerals that make water conductive
- Usually between 300 – 600 uS/cm – Relatively low conductivity due to the water – be it collected from ground water or a reservoir – is usually being filtered by a water supplier taking out some of the natural chemical/mineral components found in water
- Usually between 500 – 750 uS/cm – Water coming from the Edwards aquifer travels through porous limestone and in doing so it picks up minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium which raise the conductivity of the water. The large swiss cheese permeability of the Edwards limestone allows water to pass through swiftly and not pick up so much mineral content.
- Can be between 800 – 2000 uS/cm – Water coming from the Trinity Aquifer also travels through porous limestone and also picks up similar minerals to the Edwards, But! The difference between the two is their permeabilities. Trinity limestone can have smaller space to travel through therefore the water moves slowly and picks up more mineral content over time.
- Sea water can have a conductance upwards of 50,000 uS/cm.
Conductivity helps us determine the quality of water. Increases in conductivity might indicate a discharge or mixing between water sources or could indicate that pollution has entered the aquatic resource.
Check out the links below for additional information on water conductivity.