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What is brackish water and what effect does a high concentration of ammonia have?

Brackish or brack water is water with a level of salinity between freshwater and seawater. In many places around the world, brackish water appears naturally, and it forms an important habitat for some unique animal species. However, it can cause environmental damage, since it is harmful for organisms which have not adapted to it. This becomes an issue when brackish water is deliberately cultivated, as is done in some regions to farm desirable food fish. It is also unpleasant to drink, and it may cause health problems.


Concentrations of ammonia in rivers and drinking water reservoirs indicate the presence of agriculture or urban pollution. When the concentration of ammonia is high, it can alter the smell and taste of water. In industrial applications, high concentrations of ammonia can cause corrosion in pipes. Ammonia is also monitored in aquariums and fish farming applications because of its toxicity to fish.

The lovibond Comparator is a system which uses coloured glass discs to compare the colour of the sample taken. The test is used to determine levels of ammonia in water and waste water but its important to note that Ammonia conditioning powder is needed for seawater samples.

Lovibond ammonia conditioning reagent is required to prevent precipitation of salts on when adding in No 1 and 2 ammonia tablets. Click AMMONIA METHOD 3 for full details on our website.

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