The term “environmental monitoring” refers to the way that we assess environmental conditions. This includes the monitoring of air pollution, renewable freshwater, and hazardous waste.
Dedicated environmental monitoring professionals are employed by businesses and government bodies. Their efforts aid public and environmental health. People drawn to this field often have a solid background in environmental science, biology, or chemistry.
Methods and Technologies
Because the types of environmental concerns vary so widely, it is natural that testing methods do too.
Some examples include:
- Soil salinity monitoring: Experts can test the salinity of soil by measuring the total dissolved solids in a sample. They can also measure it out on the field with electromagnetic induction-based soil sensors. This is important because overly salty soil can affect water quality and plants.
- Air pollution monitoring: This can be measured by “automatic” or “non-automatic” methods. An automatic method is more accurate and usually involves electrical recording and analysis. A “non-automatic” method is cheaper and may involve placing a tube in a specific location and then sending it to the lab for a chemical analysis.
- Water monitoring: One of the simpler methods of testing water quality is in a turbidity testing tube. The aim is to determine how cloudy the water is so that you can take measures to increase the effectiveness of chlorination. You gradually fill the tube and read the turbidity rating on the side that you can see without the interference of cloudiness.
For those who carry out this important work, you will require high-quality tools from a reliable supplier like RS Americas. Air quality monitors, radiation detectors, EMF meters, and pH probes are just a few examples of the supplies you may need.
Applications of Environmental Monitoring
Many of the essentials in our everyday lives are made possible by behind-the-scenes environmental monitoring.
One crucial example relates to air pollution. Governments can use fixed station monitoring and smaller Alphasense sensors to identify pollution hotspots in cities. The data informs new traffic control measures taken to reduce this.
The USA’s drinking water is considered one of the safest supplies in the world. This is thanks to rigorous testing of Community Water Systems. Some of the contaminants that water quality monitors test for include sewage, arsenic, pesticides, fertilizers, and cyanide.
Monitoring environmental factors with the IOT
Technology that assists with environmental monitoring is advancing. In recent years, the Internet of Things has entered this field. The increasingly common interconnection of the internet in devices is going a long way to streamline things.
For example, it makes it possible to consolidate data from multiple sensors into one cloud-based system.
It also means that more wireless, remote environmental systems are becoming available. This can reduce the manpower required to monitor pollution.
The invaluable work of water monitors enables us to live our daily lives safely and hygienically. Exciting technology is developing constantly to make testing simpler and more efficient.