Suspended Solid Experiment

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1.0 OBJECTIVE This objective of this experiment is to determine the quantity of suspended solids in polluted water samples.

2.0 INTRODUCTION Water quality is vitally important in our daily life. However, due to water pollution, the quality of water is questionable for safe usage. In order to determine water quality, one of the indicator and measurement that can be used is by suspended solids (SS). Suspended solids is one type of physical water-quality measurement. Suspended solids refer to small particles which remain in suspension in water as a colloid or due to the motion of the water, with sizes larger than 0.01mm. Suspended solids may consist of organic particles such as vegetation fibres, alga, bacteria and micro-organisms and non-organic suspended solids such as clay, silt and other soil materials.

Wastewater is water that has been affected in quality by human activities on the environment such as liquid discharged from industry, domestic residences, commercial and others. In wastewater, materials other than water are considered as solid. The definition for solid is the residue of water evaporation from 103ºC (slightly more than boiling point). Solids can be classified into dissolved solids and suspended solid. Suspended solid can be obtained from filtration method. Solid that remains on the filter paper after drying at 103ºC is suspended solid. Concentration of the suspended solid can be calculated as below: Concentration of suspended solid = ( A  B)  1000 Volume of sample (mL)

A = weight of suspended solid + filter paper (mg) B = weight of filter paper (mg) 1


When there is no adequate water sources to meet needs of a community, it is necessary to use surface water to meet the community water needs. Surface waters require more treatment than groundwater. Part of the problems lies in the fact that no two surface waters have exactly the same chemical and microbial characteristics. Even two surface water supplies, located on the same river will have slightly different characteristics as a result of different drainage between the two water intakes. Surface waters have both suspended solids and dissolved solids.

The suspended solid (nonfilterable residue) content of wastewater is of direct water quality significance in terms of turbidity in receiving waters, and indirectly in relation to the associated transport of other waste constituents such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and BOD. Suspended solid are very finely divided particles that are kept in suspension by the turbulent action of the moving water; they are insoluble in water but are filterable. The suspended solids are normally organic solids combined with organic solids but may be entirely inorganic solids. Some of the suspended solids consist readily biodegradable organic compounds together with some organic compounds that are non-biodegrable in the aqueous environment. [1]

Microorganisms are part of the suspended solid. The higher plants and animals found in surface waters are not considered as part of the suspended solids. The dissolved solids are mostly inorganic with some soluble organic compounds. The soluble organic compounds may be biodegradable, non-biodegradable or a combination of the two relationship. Colloidal suspended solids are also found in surface waters. Colloids are very tiny particles that act like soluble solids and are often measured as part of the soluble solids. Time, temperature and other environmental factors determine microbial response in the surface water supplies.[2]


After the measurement of BOD, the suspended solid content is probably the next most tests for both crude sewage and treated effluents. The amount of suspended and soluble solids in sewage will govern the design details of both the sedimentation tanks and the sludge drying treatment process. The determination of the concentration of suspended solids is indicative of the contaminating...
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