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Q: Find the significant parameters that you have to assess for lake gardens.

A:
Based on the Interim National Water Quality Standards for Malaysia (INWQS), lake
garden water is classified under class IIB, which is for recreational use body contact. The
most frequently parameters tested to assess water quality in a lake are dissolved oxygen (DO),
pH, alkalinity, total dissolved solid and total suspended solids, nutrients, turbidity, hardness
and temperature.
Dissolved oxygen (DO) measurements determine the amount of oxygen in the water
available for fish and other aquatic life. Temperature measurements are used to characterize
the presence or absence of thermal stratification (the forming of layers of water with
distinct temperature differences. A lakes temperature variations are important in influencing
what types and how many fish will live and reproduce in that lake. Low oxygen levels may
restrict where fish can go within a lake and limit the types and numbers of fish in lakes
bottom water. The INWQS level for DO is 5 to 7 mg/l.
The waters pH is a measure of its hydrogen ion concentration and reflects the waters
acidity. Alkalinity is also measured to assess the lakes water quality. High alkalinity results in
greater decline in pH. A lakes pH will fluctuate as time went by in response to
photosynthesis by algae and other aquatic plants, watershed runoff and other factors. pH also
may change with depth, primarily due to various chemical reactions and a decrease in
photosynthesis. The INWQS level for pH is 6 to 9.
Total Dissolved Solid (TDS) is the materials remain in the water after filtration for
suspended solid analysis and become a solid residue when the water evaporates. Examples of
material are decay product and inorganic materials including mineral, metal and gases. These
materials dissolve in water due to the solvent action of water on solids, liquids and gases.
Total Suspended Solid (TSS) influences the clarifier performance or muddiness of
water and measure the actual weight of material per unit volume of water. TSS measures the
material including both inorganic forms such as soil particles and organic forms such as algae.
The INWQS level is 50 mg/l.
Water quality is also measured by its nutrients content, nitrogen and phosphorus. Both
nutrients are of primary concern in lakes; the latter is usually the one that regulates algae
growth the most. Nitrogen and phosphorus can be measured in different forms. Nitrogen can
be in inorganic forms such as nitrate and ammonia are readily utilized by algae for growth.
High ammonia concentrations are toxic to aquatic organisms. On the other hand, phosphorus
is measured as total phosphorus (TP) and in various dissolved forms. The INWQS level for
nitrogen is 0.4 mg/l.
Turbidity is a measurement of how cloudy the water is. High turbidity can cause by
silt, mud and plant pieces. The turbidity increases in lake because of floating algae or from
industrial activity such as mining and logging. Turbidity depends on the season. This is
because during winter, the turbidity is low but when the snow melts, the turbidity become
higher when water carries soil off the land into the lake.
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Water hardness is the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in water. Hardness
become a problem and could be a limiting factor when the readings are too high. A high level
of hardness will cause an increase in the pH of a lake. This may double the amount of stress
on aquatic organisms