Work Item: ASTM WK4193 - New Test Method for Determination of Turbidity Above 1 TU in the In-Situ Mode

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    Developed by Subcommittee: D19.07 | Committee D19 | Contact Staff Manager

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers the in-situ field measurements of turbidity in surface water. The measurement range is greater than 1 TU and the lesser of 10 000 TU or the maximum measurable TU value specified by the turbidimeter manufacturer. 1.2 In-situ measurement refers in this test method to applications in which the turbidimeter sensor is placed directly in the surface water in the field and does not require transport of a sample to or from the sensor. Surface water refers to lakes, reservoirs, settling ponds, streams and rivers, estuaries, and the ocean. 1.3 Many of the turbidity units and instrument designs covered in this test method are numerically equivalent in calibration when a common calibration standard is applied across those designs listed in Table 1. Measurement of a common calibration standard of a defined value will also produce equivalent results across these technologies. This test method prescribes the assignment of determined turbidity values to the technology used to determine those values. Numerical equivalence to turbidity standards is observed between different technologies but is not expected across a common sample. Improved traceability beyond the scope of this test method may be practiced and would include the listing of the make and model number of the instrument used to determine the turbidity values. 1.4 In this test method, calibration standards are often defined in NTU values, but the other assigned turbidity units, such as those in Table 1, are equivalent. For example, a 1-NTU formazin standard is also a 1 FNU, a 1 FAU, a 1 BU, and so forth. 1.5 This test method was tested on different natural waters and wastewater and with standards that served as surrogates for samples. It is the users responsibility to ensure the validity of this test method for waters of untested matrices. 1.7 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

    Turbidity is undesirable in drinking water and plant effluent waters. High-level turbidity as defined in the test method is often monitored to help control processes, monitor the health and biology of water environments, and determine the impact of changes in response to environmental events. Such agencies as the USGS and EPA would use the test method as a reference for the monitoring of water in the environment. ASTM Subcommittee D19.03 would also be interested in the test method.


    turbidity; turbidimeter; turbidity standards; 90o scatter; backscatter; multibeam meter; turbidity interferences

    The title and scope are in draft form and are under development within this ASTM Committee.

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    Work Item Status

    Date Initiated:

    Technical Contact:
    Michael Sadar


    D19 (14-01)

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