What is it? Chloride is a negatively charged ion that is formed when chlorine gains an additional electron. It is often found in the form of sodium and potassium salts, which are very soluble in water.
Why is it important? Almost all natural bodies of water contain chloride, but the concentrations can vary depending on the mineral content of the surrounding rock or soil. Chloride also enters the water from human sources including: agricultural runoff, road salts, industry wastewater, among other things.
What does it mean? Testing for this parameter can be one way of measuring pollution in water. Above normal concentrations can significantly impact plant and aquatic life. Some plankton are very sensitive to large concentrations and without these little guys to eat the algae, we see significant problems like lack of dissolved oxygen. Chloride is also an important indicator of road salts and is often used by monitoring groups to this end.
Water Rangers Protocol: We do not currently include a test for this in our kit. However, some of our groups measure this parameter using their own tools! Check out this awesome group in Illinois as an example.
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Water Rangers is community-led. So, if you have any questions, ideas, or notice any errors, please tell us!