Home /
Search 🔍
the Site
pub Where the world gathers for
plating, anodizing, & finishing Q&As since 1989


Table of Water Resistivities

Q. With regard to water resistivity: Realizing that water resistivity is a function of water purity, can someone provide me with a table of typical values of water resistivities (in ohm-cm) for pure water, potable water, sea water, well water, etc - or any other type of summary of information along these lines.

Thank you!

Bob Coe
- Westminster, Colorado

A. Resistivity was formerly measured in mhos, or "inverse ohms" but uses the term "Siemen" under the international system. It is usually called "conductivity" rather than resistivity. Distilled water ideally has a conductivity of zero, but practically has one or two microsiemens. Rain water, river water, and well water vary wildly depending on location, distance from headwaters, etc. You will find anything from 150 to 6,000, depending on location, although rainwater is usually at the low end. Potable water is usually less than 1500, and "good" water is less than 400 microsiemens. Seawater (Gulf of Mexico tidal)is around 40,000. Discharge water from a typical waste pre-treatment plant in a metal finishing shop ranges from 1,500 to 5,000, with plants using good water conservation practices toward the high end.

paul morkovsky
Paul Morkovsky
- Shiner, Texas, USA

A. Resistivity and conductivity are not the same thing, in fact they are opposites. 1 divided by resistivity gives you conductivity.

The mho (much more descriptive) or Siemen is the unit of conductivity.

Peter Hucker
- Scotland
July 26, 2023

thumbs up sign Thanks Peter. But resistivity is not quite the same thing as resistance, so conductivitiy is not quite the same thing as conductance. The resistivity or conductivity of a material is a function of what kind of metal it is, such as copper, silver, steel, etc., and you can look up the resistivity of a material in a chart. But the resistance of a wire also depends on its length and cross sectional area.

R = r * L / A
ohms = ohm-cm * cm / cm2

And so, likewise:

C = c * A / L
mhos = mho/cm * cm2 / cm

So the conductivity of water is often expressed in microsiemens per cm.
Luck & Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

(No "dead threads" here! If this page isn't currently on the Hotline your Q, A, or Comment will restore it)

Q, A, or Comment on THIS thread -or- Start a NEW Thread

Disclaimer: It's not possible to fully diagnose a finishing problem or the hazards of an operation via these pages. All information presented is for general reference and does not represent a professional opinion nor the policy of an author's employer. The internet is largely anonymous & unvetted; some names may be fictitious and some recommendations might be harmful.

If you are seeking a product or service related to metal finishing, please check these Directories:

Chemicals &
Consult'g, Train'g
& Software

About/Contact    -    Privacy Policy    -    ©1995-2023 finishing.com, Pine Beach, New Jersey, USA