Water temperature

What is water temperature?

Water temperature impacts many of the other measurables such as pH, conductivity, and dissolved oxygen. It changes the water’s density, the water’s ability to support life, absorb gases (like CO₂), and absorb nutrients.

A group of water testers taking a water quality measurement, including water temperature. They are using a Water Rangers testkit

Why is water temperature important?

Increases can cause some chemicals to become “soluble”: think how quickly salt dissolves in hot water versus cold water. Algae blooms and other vegetation can also grow more quickly in warmer water. When these blooms decompose, they reduce the amount of oxygen available in the water, causing problems for fish and wildlife.

What does a measurement mean?

Different temperatures attract different animal and plant species. Unusually warm water could be an indicator of algae blooms or even pollution discharge.

Water Rangers Protocol

Make sure the thermometer is submerged at least 10 cm from the surface of the water. Hold under the water for 5 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when the temperature has remained the same for at least 30 seconds.

Our stream thermometers compare well to digital probes! Watch an experiment comparing the two.

Pro Tip: Can’t reach the water? No problem! Use your sample cup and reacher stick to scoop up a sample. Measure and record right away as exposure to the outside air changes the water temperature.

Testing water temperature? Take a look at these: