Temperature is a key parameter in checking water quality. It affects the dissolved oxygen levels in water, the rate of photosynthesis, as well as metabolic rates of organisms. Each species of organism thrives in a specific temperature range. Some organisms use temperature as an indicator for reproduction and migration. Abnormality in water temperature can disrupt the balance of aquatic ecosystems with devastating effect.
Total suspended solids (TSS) are particles that are larger than 2 microns found in the water column. Most suspended solids are made up of inorganic materials, although bacteria and algae can also contribute to the total solids concentration. TSS is also a significant factor in observing the aesthetics of the water, as the more suspended solids that are present the less clear the water will become. Excessive suspended solids can because for concern for aquatic and human life as well as impede navigation and increase flooding risks. TSS can be measured through gravimetric determination.
Total coliform bacteria are commonly found in the environment and are generally harmless while fecal coliform bacteria are a sub-group of total coliform bacteria. The presence of fecal coliform in a drinking water sample often indicates recent fecal contamination, meaning that there is a greater risk that pathogens are present than if only total coliform bacteria is detected. The presence of fecal contamination in aquatic environments is an indicator that a potential health risk exists for individuals exposed to this water. Multiple tube fermentation technique is often used for the determination of total and fecal coliforms.