What is turbidity and why is it measured?

Turbidity is a measure of the cloudiness of water- the cloudier the water, the greater the turbidity. Turbidity is caused by suspended solids caused by phytoplankton, human activities that disturb land such as construction that can result in high sediment levels.

Turbidity is important because high turbidity in drinking water can lead to develop into gastrointestinal diseases. High turbidity in water bodies such as lakes, rivers and reservoirs, can reduce the amount of light reaching lower depths, which can inhibit growth of submerged aquatic plants and consequently affect species which are dependent on them, such as fish and shellfish.

Turbidity in wine can impact aroma and quality. Turbidity can also cause membrane fouling during microfiltration.

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