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pH Sensor Recomendations

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    • #2345

        Hi everyone!

        I am participating in Portland Science Hack Day on Saturday. I am interested in how the Eagle Creek forest fire is affecting the Colombia river. And in particular if all the ash fall(or some other aspect of the fire) is changing the pH of the river I want to use the Mayfly starter kit to make some pH monitoring devices for the river. I’m brand new to environmental monitoring and a lot of topics in hardware so I have lots of questions! :p

        My primary question is can anyone recommend a pH sensor to work with? But also, does anyone know if pH changes in waterways have been measured after forest fires before? And/or are there other metrics you think it would be particularly interesting to track relating to the fire? And/or if I get this up and running on Saturday will that be too late? I definitely won’t have a baseline because the fire started on Sunday. I guess it will still be interesting to see what happens during the rest of the fire and onward.

        Thanks in advance!

      • #2346

          I know folks have gone the “cheaper” route with atlas sensors (https://www.atlas-scientific.com/ph.html) but i’ve worked more with Hach environmental/YSI as more field water quality industry standard. I also check In Situ (multi-sensor platforms) or Fondriest (distributor of various sensor vendors) every now and then.

          As far as I know, pH probes are still prone to a lot of calibration drift, so i’d check calibrations before going out to the field and be careful with glass electrode systems (fragility).

          Post-fire, i would anticipate changes almost all major water quality parameters to change: specific conductance (similar vendors as mentioned previously), turbidity from loose sediment delivery, biochemical properties (carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous), etc. Time-wise, i’d anticipate one short pulse close in time of fire event from near shore charred sediment, gradual pulse from atmospheric deposition shortly after fire, and short pulses following from any subsequent rain events- note, mostly educated guesses here in time-series stuff. ‘Luck and be safe! -h

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