The ion balance is used to check analytical results. Total anions must be in balance with total cations. Therefore the sum of the concentrations of anions should equal the total concentration of cations and the ratio of total anions to total cations should be 1. The concentrations in this case must be in terms of ion equivalents. The graphical representation of ion equivalent concentrations helps you to visualise the characteristics of the water in terms of its principal dissolved salts.

Enter the concentrations in milligrammes per litre (mg/l) of the common ions calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, alkalinity (bicarbonate), sulphate, chloride and nitrate in your sample. You will need to select the appropriate units for alkalinity. Then press "Assess". If the balance is poor either the analysis is inaccurate or there is at least one other important ion. Repeat as required. To see a listing of your assessments press "Summary".

The graphic will appear here. Note colour key:



ENTER DATA HERE:                Try these examples:

Sample identifier (optional): 

Calcium mg/l:   Magnesium mg/l:   Potassium mg/l:    Sodium mg/l: 

Alkalinity (bicarbonate) mg/l:  Select alkalinity units: 

Sulphate mg/l:   Chloride mg/l:   Nitrate mg/l: 

Chris Short November 2006.       [Visit my consultancy page]