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Experiment No.

VIII

Refractometer

Conductivity Meter

Hydrometer

Observations:

Note the reading of conductivity meter: ________S/cm


Result: Calculate Salinity in terms of TDS in mg/L by following formula:
TDS (mg/L) = EC (S/cm at 25oC) x 0.6
TDS of the given sample of the soil is = _______________ mg/L

Experiment No. VIII


Aim:

Date:____________

To determine the salinity of the soil.

Requir Soil Sample, Distilled Water, Conical Flask,


ement Measuring Cylinder, Beaker, Funnel, Glass
s
Rod,
Hydrometer/Refractometer/Conductivity
Meter, Thermometer
Theor Salinity refers to amount or concentration
y:
of salts in the medium of concern, which
can be water (Sea or Fresh) or soil.
Variety of salts occurs in different
proportions varying with location and
season.
Salinity can increase or decrease.
Increase in salinity is called salinization.
The latter can occur on account of high
evaporation of water, weathering of rocks
and receding of ocean.
The salinity can be measured in terms
of
specific
gravity
of
water
(by
Hydrometer; least accurate), refractive
index of water (by Refractometer;
relatively more accurate), as Total
Dissolved Solids (TDS) in water (on
evaporation
of
water/Solution;
or
titration); or in terms of carried current
(conductivity)
by
solution
(by
Salinometer or Conductivity Meter).
A refractometer measures the change of
direction or bending of the light as it
passes from air to water. Light moves
slower in water than air. The more salt in
the water, the slower the light moves.
Total Dissolved Salts (TDS) is
measured by evaporating a known
volume of water to dryness, then
weighing the solid residue remaining.
Measurement of TDS is tedious and
cannot be carried out in the field. TDS is
expressed as ppt (parts per thousand or
0/00) or ppm (parts per million) in units
of grams per litre (g/L)or milligrams per
litre (mg/L)
Electrical conductivity (EC) is
measured by passing an electric current
between two metal plates (electrodes) in
the water sample and measuring how
readily current flows (ie conducted)
between the plates. The more are

dissolved salt in the water, the stronger


the current flow and the higher the EC.
Measurements of EC can be used to give
an estimate of TDS. EC measurement is
much quicker and simpler and is very
useful for field measurement.
EC measures the charge carrying
ability /conductance of liquid in a
measuring cell of specific dimensions. It is
necessary to clearly define the units of
both conductance and length when
talking ECs.. The standard EC unit used is
microSiemens per centimetre (S/cm) at
25oC.
Relationship of total dissolved salts
to EC
EC can be effectively converted to TDS for
natural Victorian waters by the following
relationship: TDS (mg/L) = EC (S/cm
at 25oC) x 0.6
Significance of Salinity: Salinity
determines the growth of the plants and is
important factor for agriculture. High
salinity adversely effects the growth of
the plants. Excess soil salinity causes poor
and spotty stands of crops, uneven and
stunted growth and poor yields. The
primary effect of excess salinity is that it
renders less water available to plants due
to increase in osmotic concentration.
Apart from the osmotic effect of salts in
the soil solution, excessive concentration
and absorption of individual ions may
prove toxic to the plants and/or may
retard the absorption of other essential
plant nutrients.
Proced
ure:

1. Take 10 grams (one Part) of the soil and


mix it with 50 ml (5 Parts) of distilled
water
2. Stir the mixture thoroughly with Glass Rod
3. Let the mixture settle for at least 1-2 Hours
4. Immerse the Probe of the Calibrated
Conductivity Meter up to the marked level.
5. Move the probe up & down gently to
remove air bubbles trapped inside the

Probe
6. Adjust the temperature of meter according
to instructions of supplier of the apparatus.
Wait for one Minute to let system stabilise
7. Note down the conductivity readings in
S/cm
Precau
tions:

1. Obtain a representative sample of


soil of the field.
2. Note down the locality and date of
soil sampling as contents vary with
location and seasons
3. Use clean glassware and distilled
water
4.

Take reading at 250C if meter lacks


temperature compensation

5. Remove protective cap than switch


on the meter and insert probe into
soil solution
6. Allow the probe to reach the
temperature of the water before
taking a reading
7. Move the probe up and down to
remove bubbles from around the
electrodes; but do not swirl it
8. Ensure that EC meter is calibrated;
if not do it with calibration solution
(used solution should be discarded)
and
check
solution
(to
test
calibration); Calibration should be
done before each sampling.
9. Rinse the probe with tank water
and drain off any excess water.
10.Clean the stainless steel electrodes
periodically by rinsing in pure
alcohol for 10 to 15 minutes.