Water Quality & Instrumentation
Because water quality and water composition have a direct impact on the environment, food and beverage production, agriculture, aquaculture, manufacturing, and healthcare, water quality testing plays an important role in each of these areas. Water quality testing encompasses a wide variety of applications and instruments, from measuring hard water and the alcohol content in beer and wine, to testing cosmetics and petroleum products.
Multiparameter meters use sensors to measure a number of different parameters of water quality. For any particular meter, these parameters might include pH level (acidity or alkalinity of a substance), conductivity (the amount of salts or other compounds present that affect water conductivity), dissolved oxygen (DO, the amount of oxygen in a liquid), temperature, total dissolved solids (TDS, anything present in water other than the pure water molecule and suspended solids), salinity, resistivity, or oxidation reduction potential (ORP). Applications for multiparameter meters include water testing, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, wine-making, water-treatment plants, and aquaculture. Devices with a benchtop body are often used for indoor laboratory use or in a manufacturing setting; handheld, portable devices are typically used for fieldwork.
A flowmeter, sometimes called a flow gauge or flow indicator, measures the flow rate of a fluid in a confined space and is used for a variety of applications, including measuring flow rates though rivers and channels, measuring fuel movement through a fuel injector, and diagnosing leakage or blockage in valves and pipes. They can be permanently installed inline or placed for temporary measurements, and can be read manually or have a digital display.
Hydrometers are used to measures specific gravity and density of liquids. They are made of glass or plastic and are placed in a sample of the fluid to be measured. Measurements are then read directly off the meter shaft. Because there are several different scales used for different industries, hydrometers are manufactured for measuring specific types of solutions, including syrups, sugar and sucrose, petroleum products, alcohol, and soil.