UNICERT is the leading inspection body in the area of water quality test for Total suspended solids (TSS) and its objectives are to reduce environmental emission/pollution and enhance environmental performance of the society.

Total suspended solids (TSS):

Total suspended solids (TSS) are the dry-weight of suspended particles that are not dissolved, in a sample of water that can be trapped by a filter that is analyzed using a filtration apparatus. It is a water quality parameter used to assess the quality of a specimen of any type of water or water body, ocean water for example, or wastewater after treatment in a wastewater treatment plant.

It is listed as a conventional pollutant in the U.S. Clean Water Act.[1] Total dissolved solids is another parameter acquired through a separate analysis which is also used to determine water quality based on the total substances that are fully dissolved within the water, rather than undissolved suspended particles. TSS was previously called non-filterable residue (NFR), but was changed to TSS because of ambiguity in other scientific disciplines.


Effects of TSS:

Suspended solids can clog fish gills, either killing them or reducing their growth rate. They also reduce light penetration. This reduces the ability of algae to produce food and oxygen. When the water slows down, as when it enters a reservoir, the suspended sediment settles out and drops to the bottom, a process called siltation. This causes the water to clear, but as the silt or sediment settles it may change the bottom. The silt may smother bottom-dwelling organisms, cover breeding areas, and smother eggs.

Indirectly, the suspended solids affect other parameters such as temperature and dissolved oxygen. Because of the greater heat absorbency of the particulate matter, the surface water becomes warmer and this tends to stabilize the stratification (layering) in stream pools, embayments, and reservoirs. This, in turn, interferes with mixing, decreasing the dispersion of oxygen and nutrients to deeper layers.

Suspended solids interfere with effective drinking water treatment. High sediment loads interfere with coagulation, filtration, and disinfection. More chlorine is required to effectively disinfect turbid water. They also cause problems for industrial users. Suspended sediments also interfere with recreational use and aesthetic enjoyment of water. Poor visibility can be dangerous for swimming and diving. Siltation, or sediment deposition, eventually may close up channels or fill up the water body converting it into a wetland.

A positive effect of the presence of suspended solids in water is that toxic chemicals such as pesticides and metals tend to adsorb to them or become complexed with them which make the toxics less available to be absorbed by living organisms.


Interested Parties including Regulatory Authorities:

  1. Persons affected by TSS
  2. Industries, Laboratories using/ Generating TSS
  3. Body Containing TSS
  4. Personal and commercial uses of TSS
  5. Private / Govt. Projects to control TSS
  6. Handling and transportation of goods containing TSS
  7. Local Environmental Department/ Authorities
  8. Local Government Authorities like Municipalities, City Corporation etc.
  9. Local Law Enforcing Agencies like Police, Magistrate and Regulatory Authorities etc.

Benefits of Monitoring:

By monitoring long-term contamination trends, every country establishes baseline contamination levels, making it possible for early identification of contamination events. Daily events and long term trends are captured and steps taken to reduce environmental emission/ pollution and enhance environmental performance of the society.