The suspended particles, or solids, that are in the water. Suspended particles are not dissolved in the water, and so can be trapped by a filter. Total suspended solids (TSS) can include silt, sewage, animal and plant matter, and industrial waste.

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Total Suspended Solids

Total Suspended Solids

Photo by Douglas Gayeton

Total Suspended Solids

A tool used for determining water quality based on measuring the total substances fully dissolved within a water system. On a river, this can include silt, decaying plant and animal matter, industrial wastes, and sewage. High concentrations of suspended solids can cause many problems for stream health and aquatic life.

What you write on the land, you can read in the water. It’s a story that shares what’s happening on the land upstream, and how that impacts everything from bank stability to water clarity, and even the diversity of wildlife on the river.

WHEN KIM MUSSER PADDLES MINNESOTA RIVERS, SHE LOOKS AT EVERYTHING FROM DOWNED TREES (A SIGN OF RIVERBANK EROSION) TO WATER CLARITY FOR WAYS TO MEASURE A RIVER'S HEALTH. In this region, wetlands have been drained and prairies lost as the landscape was altered and replumbed to increase the amount of arable land suitable for agriculture. To hold more water on the land and release it more slowly into area rivers, a variety of approaches such as temporary retention ponds, wetland restorations, improved soil health, and multipurpose drainage management strategies can be used in agricultural settings, while in urban areas, stormwater holding ponds and rain gardens can also reduce peak flows.

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