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Units of Measurement
Electrical conductivity is defined as the ability of a solution to conduct electrical current. The reciprocal value is often described as electrical resist ivory and is measured in ohms. In practical terms, conductivity reflects the concentration of dissolved solids which are ionised in a solution like water (or any other polar solution).
The unit of measurement for conductivity is the Siemens per centimetre or S/cm. The final value depends on the conductivity of each solution, varying from microSiemens to milliSiemens, for example. Typically, the most common unit used is the microSiemens, which represents the one-millionth part of a Siemens per centimetre, which is applied to solutions with extremely low conductivity values. In more concentrated solutions, it may be better to use milliSiemens/cm (mS/cm), which is a thousandth of a Siemens (10-3 S/cm). In this case, 1000 µS/cm is equal to 1 mS/cm. To simplify results, conductivity can be expressed simply as micro or milliSiemens. This is technically incorrect, but it’s commonly used in the understanding that the complete unit is implied.
There are other units that can be used, including total dissolved solids (TDS), which is commonly used in the water industry to indicate the hardness of water. While in some cases this may not entirely correlate with conductivity as it indicates all solids present in solution, it works for the water industry, as solids are predominantly present in ionic form, which influences conductivity.
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