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Water Turbidity


Water Turbidity and the Turbidity Education and Notification Campaign

In the spring of 2006 the Interior Health introduced the Turbidity Education and Notification Campaign to inform customers that health risks increase as turbidity rises - particularly for at-risk populations such as children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems and to notify customers of turbidity levels higher than 1 NTU (nephelometric turbidity units) as recommended in the federal Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Turbidity?

Turbidity is a water quality term that refers to the relative clarity of water.  Turbidity occurs when fine suspended particles of clay, silt, organic and inorganic matter, plankton, and other microscopic organisms are picked up by water as it passes through a watershed.  Turbidity levels are typically much higher in water from surface water sources such as streams, rivers, and lakes than from groundwater sources.  Some surface water sources exhibit high turbidity levels during periods of high rainfall or snow melt (e.g. spring runoff).  

Turbidity Index:

 < 1 NTU = Good
 1 - 5 NTU's = Fair
 > 5 NTU's = Poor