Water Quality Parameter

Monitoring Water for Selenium With KETOS SHIELD

Does your organization need to gain accurate water quality insights at less cost? KETOS offers a device to help companies manage their water testing parameters all from one place. Monitor for heavy metals – like selenium – and so much more.

Testing for Selenium

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Learn To Automate Selenium Testing In Water With Lab-Accurate Results in Real-Time​

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Testing for Selenium

Monitoring Water For SeleniumKETOS SHIELD provides easy heavy metal monitoring in real-time. Cover all of your water testing parameters with one device and leverage our industry-leading $0-CAPEX subscription model to save money along the way. 

As an intelligent water quality monitoring solution, KETOS SHIELD provides real-time monitoring for selenium and 30+ other water testing parameters (such as other environmental factors, various heavy metals, and more). Monitoring happens within a cloud-enabled modular system that allows for safe, easy 24/7 access from any device (mobile, tablet, laptop).

Why Monitor Water for Selenium with KETOS

Selenium is a rare trace element found in soil originating from sedimentary deposits. Selenium can enter the waterways naturally (via erosion and surface runoff) and through human activity (via industrial discharges from mining).

While small amounts of selenium are essential for human health, the EPA limits selenium in drinking water to 0.05 mg/L as higher amounts can be toxic.

This challenge with selenium is that the difference between “essential” and “toxic” is quite slim, and even relatively small amounts of selenium (if released into the environment) can adversely affect wildlife. Due to a general concern for how selenium can affect an entire ecosystem, the EPA adjusted its selenium regulations in 2016 to include selenium contamination in food webs (not just water). There is also potential for rules surrounding selenium to become even more severe in the coming years.

While industrial and manufacturing organizations must already treat wastewater for selenium before discharge, water operators must continuously comply with regulations while staying vigilant should a change in compliance occur. Having a water quality management solution that can monitor for selenium and set threshold-based alerts can ensure organizations maintain compliance while protecting the surrounding environment from contamination.

What are the Issues with Selenium in Water?

Selenium, a naturally occurring element, is essential in trace amounts for various biological functions, but elevated levels in water can pose significant challenges and concerns. Here are key issues associated with selenium in water:

  • Health Risks: High concentrations of selenium in drinking water can pose health risks to humans and wildlife. Chronic exposure to elevated selenium levels may lead to selenosis, a condition characterized by hair and nail loss, gastrointestinal issues, neurological symptoms, and potential reproductive and developmental effects. Additionally, selenium bioaccumulation in aquatic organisms can result in selenium toxicity in wildlife, affecting populations and ecosystem health.
  • Environmental Impact: Selenium pollution in water bodies can have detrimental effects on aquatic ecosystems and biodiversity. Elevated selenium levels can bioaccumulate in aquatic organisms, leading to reproductive impairment, developmental abnormalities, and population declines in sensitive species such as fish, birds, and amphibians. Selenium contamination can also impact food webs and ecosystem functioning, contributing to ecological imbalances and habitat degradation.
  • Mining and Industrial Activities: Selenium contamination in water often stems from anthropogenic sources, including mining operations, coal combustion, agricultural runoff, and industrial discharges. Mining activities can release selenium from ore deposits, while coal combustion can emit selenium-containing ash and particulate matter into the atmosphere, which can then deposit into surface water bodies. Contaminated runoff from agricultural lands treated with selenium-containing fertilizers can also contribute to selenium pollution in waterways.
  • Regulatory Concerns: Governments and regulatory agencies establish guidelines and standards for selenium levels in drinking water and aquatic ecosystems to protect human health and the environment. Compliance with these regulations presents challenges for industries and municipalities, necessitating effective monitoring, treatment, and management measures to mitigate selenium pollution and ensure water quality.
  • Eutrophication: Selenium can contribute to eutrophication in water bodies when present in elevated concentrations. Selenium enrichment can stimulate algal growth and bloom formation, leading to oxygen depletion, fish kills, and habitat degradation. Managing selenium inputs and controlling nutrient pollution are essential strategies for preventing eutrophication and preserving water quality and ecosystem health.
  • Treatment Challenges: Removing selenium from water sources can be challenging due to its chemical properties and solubility. Conventional water treatment methods such as coagulation, sedimentation, and filtration may be ineffective for selenium removal. Advanced treatment technologies such as ion exchange, adsorption, and membrane filtration may be required to reduce selenium concentrations to acceptable levels.

Causes of Selenium in Water

Selenium, a trace element essential for human and animal health in small amounts, can be found in water from both natural and anthropogenic sources. Geological formations containing selenium-rich minerals can release this element into water through weathering processes. Additionally, selenium can enter water bodies through erosion of soils and sediments, particularly in regions where selenium-rich rocks are prevalent. Agricultural activities, such as the use of selenium-containing fertilizers and irrigation practices on selenium-rich soils, can contribute to selenium runoff into waterways. Industrial processes, including mining, petroleum refining, and coal-fired power plants, may also release selenium into water sources through wastewater discharges. While selenium is necessary for biological functions, excessive levels can lead to environmental and health concerns, making it crucial to monitor and manage selenium concentrations in water to mitigate potential risks.

How to Easily Monitor Water for Selenium

Monitoring for selenium and many other heavy metals just got easier with KETOS.

Simplify the monitoring process for selenium and various heavy metals with KETOS. Our platform offers streamlined solutions for comprehensive water analysis, ensuring efficient detection and management of contaminants. With KETOS, empower your organization with advanced capabilities for effective monitoring and protection of water resources.

If you need to detect temperature in reclaimed water, Total Ammonia Nitrogen in groundwater, or Total Dissolved Solids in the food processing industry, KETOS’ automated water monitoring will save time and reduce regulatory issues.

What Water Quality Parameter Do You Test Most Often?

The KETOS SHIELD remotely monitors dozens of water quality parameters. Which one do your water operators test most often?

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KETOS is a fully integrated platform that combines hardware, software, connectivity, automated reporting, predictive analytics, and maintenance to automate water monitoring and testing. KETOS enables water operators to identify and solve mission-critical water efficiency and quality challenges in real-time, or before they happen through predictive algorithms, to ensure that water meets specific quality and safety standards.

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