Research Paper on River Water Quality

One of the main parameters of the river water quality is the amount of suspended substances in the water.

This parameter may be determined directly – by the weight method – or indirectly by the turbidity (or transparency) of the water. The turbidity is caused by the presence in it of various kinds of mechanical impurities in suspension: particles of sand, clay, and silt of organic origin. Such turbidity is a usual characteristic for surface water sources and rivers. The degree of leaching of the soil particles entrained in the water depends on the nature of the soil bed and banks of the rivers. The smaller the size of the soil particles, the greater the amount incurred by the river. The greater the flow rate, the larger particles may be carried away with water. At a certain rate of water flow, particles are maintained in suspension and give the water turbidity.

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Yellow, brown, or Xanthophyta shades of river water are due mainly to the presence of humic substances in the water. The color is a characteristic feature of the rivers that are fed partly by swampy water, and sometimes water reservoirs.

The odors and flavors of the river water are due to the presence of dissolved gases, salts of various mineral, organic substances, and microorganisms. The odor and flavor are usual for the peat and bog water, and water containing hydrogen sulphide. Sometime, an odor may indicate the presence in the water of decaying algae. The water odor intensity typically increases with the increase of the water temperature.

The temperature of the river water varies during the year in a very wide range (from close to zero to 25° C, and sometimes higher). Underground water, especially deep water have nearly constant temperature throughout the year.

River water hardness is determined by the content of calcium and magnesium salts. There are carbonate hardness, determining by the presence of bicarbonate calcium and magnesium salts, and non-carbonate, which is determined by the other calcium and magnesium salts (sulfates, chlorides, nitrates, etc.). The total hardness of water is called general hardness.

River water, with some exceptions, has a relatively low hardness. Thus, water hardness of most European rivers is about 2-6 mEq / l. However, the water of rivers, cutting through the thick limestone and gypsum rock, often has very high hardness. The hardness of the river water usually varies throughout the year, falling to its lowest level during the flood season.

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