Research Aspects Of Water Quality

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1.1 Purpose of the Report
The purpose of this investigation is to research aspects of water quality such as guidelines for water quality, water quality parameters, contaminants that effect water quality, water quality tests and catchment area influences. Samples from the Dee River, from above and below the former Mount Morgan mine site, will be tested and compared in terms of pH level, conductivity and water hardness. The links that exist between pH levels and water hardness will also be investigated. These three variables have dramatic influences on the water quality of the Dee River which will be discussed throughout the investigation.

1.2 Water Quality
Water is a fundamental resource which is essential to human life
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Water quality protects and maintains public health, provides stable habitats for ecosystems, plays a major role in the agriculture and mining industries and contributes to recreation and tourism.
Because water is not pure, except in its vapour form, it is affected by a range of different parameters. For example, agriculture, urban, recreation, industrial uses can alter the quality as well as the modification of natural stream flows by man-made infrastructure and the weather, in particular the wrath of droughts.
Water is generally at a higher quality higher in the river, the best water quality is typically found in the headwaters. The quality often declines as rivers flow through regions where land and water use are intense and where pollution from industry increases.

1.2.1 Water Hardness
Water hardness is typically known as the amount of minerals present in an aqueous solution. It specifically looks at the amounts of dissolved calcium and magnesium in the water. Hard water generally has high levels of dissolved minerals whilst soft water has low levels.
According to South East Water, the general guidelines classifications for soft water is 0 to 60 mg/L (milligrams per litre) of
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