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Record # WI - 0040

ATHLONE WWTW
ISO9001:2008 QMS
Ammonia levels tests
(Nessler test) Rev 0
DATE: 14 Jan 2013

Nessler test Procedure


A simplified determination of the ionised and un-ionised ammonia concentration in water.

This test method is to be used by wastewater treatment plant process controllers as a quick check to
determine whether nitrification is adequate. The current Department of water Affairs and forestry
(DWAF) Guidelines for the Ammonia concentration in treated wastewater effluent is now 2mg N/l.

The test should therefore be done on secondary settling tanks Effluent or final effluent chlorine
contact tank [for process adjustments] or on the final effluent (to determine compliance with the
permit requirements).This is a colorimetric test, ie the Ammonia concentration is determine by
comparing the intensity of the yellow colour of the test and control solutions.

Chemicals and Apparatus:

Nessler reagent (obtained from the Scientific Services wastewater Laboratory)

Potassium sodium tartrate buffer

Ammonia solution (2mg N/l)

Test tubes (at least two)

Dropper (two)

Procedure:

Control

1. Fill one of the test tubes to the 10ml mark with the Ammonium solution 2mg/l.
2. To this solution add 2 drops of the buffer reagent (solution potassium tartrate).
3. Add 3 drops of Nessler reagent. The solution should turn yellow.

Ammonia Test (< or> 2mg N/l) On a SAMPLE

1. Fill the second test tube to the 10ml mark with the sample
2. To this solution add 2 drops of the buffer reagent ( sodium potassium tartrate)
3. Add 3 drops of Nessler reagent.
4. If there is any ammonia in the solution it will turn yellow.
5. Hold the two tubes against a white background –

If the colour of the test solution is a darker yellow than the control, then the
ammonia concentration is greater than 2mg N/l.

If the colour of the test solution is lighter yellow than the control, then the
ammonia concentration is less than 2mg N/l.
Record # WI - 0040
ATHLONE WWTW
ISO9001:2008 QMS
Ammonia levels tests
(Nessler test) Rev 0
DATE: 14 Jan 2013

< = less than & > =greater than

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