Q:

How do you measure conductivity in water?

A:

Quick Answer

Researchers determine the conductivity of water using the 2-AC bipolar method, which measures the electrical current that runs between a pair of electrodes immersed in a water sample. Conductivity is the ability of an aqueous solution to carry an electrical current.

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Full Answer

The bipolar method uses a probe and meter for the measurement. The researcher applies voltage between two electrodes in a probe immersed in water. The meter measures the decrease in current due to the water���s resistance and calculates the conductivity per centimeter. It converts the measurements to micromhos per centimeter or microsiemens per centimeter.

Dissolved solids affect conductivity in that a high conductivity measurement indicates high concentrations of dissolved solids. Distilled water, or pure water, has a low conductivity; whereas, seawater has a high conductivity.

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