Correlation between Turbidity and Total Suspended Solids in Singapore Rivers

Low Hui Xiang Daphne, Handojo Djati Utomo, Lim Zhi Hao Kenneth



Sediments in the rivers, expressed as suspended solids, are depending on the discharge. In recent years, Singapore has several numbers of construction projects. The construction activities may result an increase of river water pollution, especially sediment concentration, in some Singapore rivers near construction sites. As part of control strategy, silts and sediments can be discharged in stormwater drainage system with the maximum allowable limit of 50 mg/L of total suspended solids. Continuous direct measurement of total suspended solids can be conducted during river water sampling in various river streams. However the method is very time consuming due to a large number of water samples needed for the analysis. A random study was conducted from January 2010 to July 2011 in several river streams in Singapore. In this study each of total suspended solids measurement was paired with relatively fast turbidity measurement at a preliminary defined location of 50- 100 m away from any construction sites. The correlation between TSS and turbidity was established to offer more efficiency in predicting total suspended solids concentration in a river. A positive relationship between total suspended solids concentration and turbidity level suggested that the measurement of turbidity is possibly the most economic option for estimating total suspended solids concentration in a river.


Keywords: Constructions; River; Total Suspended Solids; Turbidity