Water Testing Sites and Lingo

Conductivity Details



What is it?

Conductivity is the ability of water to conduct an electrical current and is controlled by the amount of dissolved ions in water.  Here is a good link for more info. The conductivity of pure water is in the range 0.5 to 3 μs/cm. Lake and river water in the U.S. is much higher, generally ranging from 50 to 1500 μs/cm. Streams that support good populations of freshwater fish have conductivities in the range 150 to 800 μs/cm.

Dissolved Oxygen Details



What is it?

Dissolved Oxygen is the amount of oxygen gas dissolved in water and depends on natural influences such temperature, flow, altitude, presence of aquatic plants and ice cover.  Healthy water should generally have dissolved oxygen concentrations above 6.5-8 mg/L and between about 80-120 %.

pH Details



What is it?

pH is a measure of the amount of hydrogen ions (H+) in water and is an indication of how acidic or basic water is. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14. Neutral pH is 7, acidic waters are less than 7 and basic waters are greater than 7.  The pH level of the water in rivers, lakes, and wetlands is important to plant and animal life. Most animal species cannot survive if the water is too acidic (generally below 5.0), or too basic (above 9.0). Optimal pH for many species is between 7.0 and 9.0.

Temperature, water Details



What is it?

Temperature in surface water generally changes with the seasons while some local influences include amount of shade, changes in flow, water depth and groundwater influence.

How does temperature and dissolved oxygen result in algae blooms?

Warmer temperatures, prolonged stratification, and increased nutrient loading are leading to increased occurrence of harmful algal blooms. Hypoxic “dead zones” can result when algal blooms sink, decompose, and reduce dissolved oxygen concentrations.

Skiff Lake Testing Stations

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Testing Results are verified and then submitted to the Province to be  uploaded at the end of August and October when testing is completed for the year