Conductivity of Water, Conductivity of Water Units, Value, Definition of Conductivity (For CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA 2022)

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Conductivity of Water

  • It is a measure of the capability of water to pass electrical flow.
  • This ability is directly dependent on the concentration of conductive ions present in the water.
  • So, conductive ions are originated due to inorganic materials such as chlorides, alkalis, carbonate and sulfides compounds and dissolved salts.
  • The degree to which water conducts or transmits, electricity or heat or sound in it is called conductivity of water.
  • It is denoted by s or k.

Conductivity of Water Units

  • The conductivity of water can be measured using multiple units.
  • Some of them are:
    • SI units Siemens per meter (S/m)
    • U. S units Millimho per centimeter


The Value of Conductivity of Water for Various Types of Water is Given below

The Value of Conductivity of Water for Various Types of Water
Types of waterConductivity Value
Pure distilled and deionized water0.05 S/cm
Sea water50 mS/cm
Drinking water200 to 800 S/cm
Rain or snow water2 to 100 S/cm

Definition of Conductivity

  • Conductivity is the measure of the capability of water to pass the flow of electric current.
  • This ability of conductance is said to be directly proportional to the concentration of the ions present in the water.
  • This Compounds which dissolve into the ions are known as the electrolytes.
  • If the more the number of ions present in the electrolyte, then the higher is the conductivity of water.
  • Similarly, fewer the number of ions present in water, then less conductive is the conductivity of water.
  • De-ionized or distilled water can also act as an insulator because of the very low value of conductivity.
  • Seawater is said to possess a very high value of conductivity.
  • Pure water is a bad conductor of electricity. Normal water has impurities present in the form of ions called minerals etc.
  • These ions are known to be responsible for the conduction of electric current in the water.
  • So, the electrical current in water is transported by the ions present in them, and the conductivity is said to increase with the increase in the concentration of ions in them.

Electric Conductivity of Water

Electric Conductivity of Water

Conductivity of Salt Water

  • The salt water is a good conductor of electricity.
  • Its conductivity is greater than normal water.
  • This is because salt molecules are made of sodium ions and chlorine ions (NaCl) .

Chart of Conductivity of Salt Water

Chart of Conductivity of Salt Water

How Conductivity is Achieved?

  • Until now we have learnt that conductivity is purely the result of conductive ions present in the water. But how it conducts is the question.
  • It can be explained by the following steps:
    • The ions present in the water conduct electricity because of the positive as well as negative charges present in them.
    • When the electrolytes tend to dissolve in the water, they get split into action or positively charged and anions or negatively charged particles.
    • As dissolved substances tend to split in the water, the concentrations of positive and the negative charge remain the same.
  • This shows that, though the conductivity of the water increases with the addition of ions, it tends to remain electrically neutral.

Specific Conductance

  • Specific conductance is the measurement of conductivity that is made at a temperature of . it is called the standardized method of achieving the conductivity.
  • So, As the temperature of the water affects the conductivity reading, reporting the conductivity at about allows the data to be compared easily.
  • The Specific conductance is basically reported in S/cm at about a temperature measuring .
  • If the measurement of conductivity is accomplished at a temperature of , then it can be called as the specific conductance.
  • If the measurement is done at different temperatures and later corrected to the temperature of , then it is called as the temperature coefficient.

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