Identifying Changes in Background Water-Quality Conditions, Arkansas River and Fountain Creek, near Pueblo, Colorado

Specific conductance as an indicator of dissolved solids

There is a strong linear relation between instantaneous measurements of specific conductance and dissolved-solids concentration in the study area. In addition, real-time specific-conductance data are measured directly from field instruments at 15-minute intervals and uploaded to the database every 4 hours. The average value throughout a single day is expressed as the daily mean value. As such, the daily mean specific-conductance value can be used to estimate a daily mean dissolved-solids concentration using the regression equations in Table 2 of the USGS SIR 2004-5024.

Graphical representations of the relations are shown here. (Click image for larger version.)

Plot of relationship between instantaneous measurements of specific conductance and dissolved-solids for Arkansas River at Portland
Plot of relationship between instantaneous measurements of specific conductance and dissolved-solids for Arkansas River above Pueblo
Plot of relationship between instantaneous measurements of specific conductance and dissolved-solids for Arkansas River near Avondale
Plot of relationship between instantaneous measurements of specific conductance and dissolved-solids for Arkansas River at Pueblo
Plot of relationship between instantaneous measurements of specific conductance and dissolved-solids for Fountain Creek at Pueblo