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1) Introduction: Letter from the Director of Sales & Marketing
2) In The Spotlight: New E-Commerce Capability For Purchasing Aquafluor Fluorometer
3) Jim's Corner: Validating the Aquafluor Calibration
4) On the Sales Front: Conserve Water – and Money!
5) Instruments In Action: USGS using Turner Designs fluorometers in Plankton Dynamics Project
6) Technically Speaking: Plumbing Kit Accessories Improve Measurement Repeatability
7) Upcoming Events: Habwatch Conference & ERF 2003

I’m excited to send you the first edition of Turner Designs News, our on-line newsletter. This newsletter will bring you the latest developments in using fluorometers in the environmental sciences with particular focus on algal pigment and fluorescent tracer dye applications.

The contents of our newsletter have been selected with the informational needs of environmental researchers and water monitoring professionals in mind.

This newsletter will include information on:

  • New products
  • How to get the most from your existing products
  • Jim’s Corner with answers to your technical questions
  • Fluorescence applications and much more.

We invite This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it on this newsletter, and welcome you to the world of environmental fluorescence.

Yours truly,
Rob Ellison
Director of Sales and Marketing

Turner Designs Launches E-Commerce Capability For Purchasing Aquafluor Fluorometer


fluorometer Turner Designs announces that, effective immediately, it has added online sales for its Aquafluor line of fluorometers and accessories to its website.

Customers worldwide can now go through the complete sales cycle from downloading a data sheet, to viewing a quotation, and now - placing orders with all the conveniences of online commerce. Customer benefits include instant access anytime, immediate availability of data sheets, online application support, plus the security and convenience of paying for their Aquafluor and accessories with a credit card, (MasterCard or Visa).

An added promotional attraction is that the first 10 customers to use this new online ordering service will receive a Solid Standard calibration accessory with their Aquafluor at no extra charge.

For additional information about the Turner Designs fluorometers product line go here.


fluorometer Jim McCormick, our Tech Support Manager, has been with Turner Designs for over 15 years and has extensive experience with our entire line of instruments.
"Jim's Corner" will will answer customer's technical questions on the operation of Turner Designs products to help you use them to their full potential. Please feel free to send your technical questions to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

When I calibrate my Aquafluor fluorometer, how can I validate that my calibration settings are adequate?

You can validate the calibration settings by pressing the [DIAG] key and the [ENT] key. You will see values given for the %FS-Blk and %FS-STD. The % FS-STD value should be at least three times greater than the %FS-Blk value. If your %FS-STD value is not three times greater, then calibrate again using a standard sample with a higher concentration. This helps to insure that you will get good consistent results with your Aquafluor.



Conserve Water – and Money!

Water Monitoring Agencies have been using the Turner Designs 10-AU Multi-Purpose Fluorometer in various forms for more than 20 years. The 10-AU met three key needs:

  • Stable repeatable readings
  • Ability to monitor continuous water samples (flow through)
  • Real time signal output to facilitate early identification of algal blooms

    Recently, as budgets have been cut back, and more monitoring sites were required to meet higher water quality requirements, the need for a lower cost/equal-or-better fluorometer became a driving factor.

    To meet this need, Turner Designs introduced a single-purpose fluorometer specifically to meet the needs of continuously monitoring chlorophyll. By eliminating unused functionality of the 10-AU, it was possible to price the new AlgaeWatch at 50% of the cost of the 10-AU, while still providing the above three key water monitoring needs.

    Marine water agencies will appreciate the form factor and functionality for open ocean and coastal studies. The AlgaeWatch is also ideal for applications such as the simple and rapid estimation of phytoplankton in aquacultural facilities.

    Fresh water agencies will find the AlgaeWatch is an excellent alternative to the 10-AU enabling the detection of algal blooms and providing data that can be used to improve filter run times and reduce the amount of chemicals needed to maintain required water quality.

    For more information on how the AlgaeWatch can help you monitor water quality with a smaller budget go here.


  • fluorometerfluorometer
    fluorometer The Water Resources Division of the United States Geological Survey in Menlo Park, CA are using chlorophyll fluorometers in San Francisco Bay to provide critical data that is being used as part of the Plankton Dynamics Project. Fluorescence is a known proxy for phytoplankton biomass - the USGS utilizes moored fluorometers in San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta combined with underway and laboratory fluorometers to determine the abundance and productivity of planktonic microalgae in order to define and quantify some important processes:


    1. processes that regulate population dynamics and productivity of planktonic organisms in estuaries;
    2. processes through which the plankton alter and reflect water quality in estuaries;
    3. benthic processes that affect plankton dynamics and productivity of estuaries; in addition to helping define anthropogenic impacts on estuarine ecosystems.

    The instrument systems they are currently using include:
    fluorometer One, soon to be two, permanently moored SCUFAs at the Dumbarton Bridge, South San Francisco Bay. Surface and bottom high frequency sampling - helping us understand not only total biomass of phytoplankton, but information on how blooms develop and exactly when they develop. They are presently working on radio-telemetering this data so that we can access it real time on the web.

    At various times of the year, 4-10 SCUFAs moored in the Delta for 2-5 months....within flooded islands (tidal lakes). The data from these moorings help to understand if these systems function as sources or sinks of phytoplankton (primary foodsource) - currently this data is very relevant since there are plans to flood numerous tracts of land in the delta and create more of these lakes.

    A 10-AU with a flowcell used in underway mode for continuous horizontal sampling during regular Bay sampling cruises.

    A TD-700 Laboratory Fluorometer for chlorophyll extractions.

    To learn more about the Water Quality Group and the Plankton Dynamics Project please visit their website.


    Technically Speaking, It All Adds Up...
    fluorometerwill be a series of articles for people who want to obtain the best possible results from their fluorometer. For example, you may have wondered what causes the variations in your fluorometer readings when you know your sample concentration has not changed.

    The articles will cover: how to optimize your fluorometer installation; understanding how instrument specifications can affect readings; the impact of non-controllable variables such as environmental considerations; and other factors that can influence the accuracy and repeatability of your measurements.

    This first article is for engineers monitoring chlorophyll a, in a continuous flow mode, using a fluorometer such as the Turner Designs AlgaeWatch.

    Plumbing Kit Accessories Improve Measurement Repeatability

    Two factors that can cause chlorophyll measurements to "drift" with time result from 1) build up of biofouling organisms (bacteria, algae, etc.) in the flow cell of the fluorometer and 2) air bubbles resulting from intermittent flow of sample water through the flow cell. To reduce these effects on measurement repeatability, Turner Designs offers two plumbing Kits for use with the AlgaeWatch: an Inlet Kit, see Photo 1, and an Outlet Kit shown in Photo 2. The Inlet Kit is designed to address the problems of debris in the water affecting the measurement of the amount of chlorophyll present. The basket strainer should be cleaned regularly depending on: the water conditions, and the efficiency of any earlier filtering that has been done before the pump in the system. (The basket strainer is conventional, and provides easy access to all parts for convenient cleaning).

    fluorometer The next component in the Inlet Kit is the Flow Switch with its electrical connection to the AlgaeWatch. For optimal measurements, the sample stream should be between 0.5 and 1.25 gpm. The purpose of the Flow Switch is to send a signal to the fluorometer if the sample stream flow falls below 0.5 gpm. (To prevent control valve chatter, or unnecessary relay action, the fluorometer needs to see the "no-flow" signal for more than 5 minutes before turning on the alarm flag on the display).

    The third component is a Pressure Gauge calibrated to read up to 100 psi, the maximum specified pressure for the sample cell.

    The Outlet Kit has a 3-Way Valve. Purpose of this valve is to make it easy to collect a sample of the water being measured for extraction purposes. (Extraction is a process for obtaining pure chlorophyll that can be measured very precisely, and then correlated to the fluorometer readings of chlorophyll in the water).

    fluorometer Summary

    The inlet plumbing kit is used to "condition" the inlet water to the sample cell to extend the time interval between cleaning the flow cell, and to ensure there is a consistent flow of water. These steps will reduce the "drift" in fluorometer readings from biofouling effects, and/or inadequate water flow in the sample cell. Next month's article will describe a recommended procedure for cleaning the flow cell as part of your regularly scheduled maintenance routine. Further information on the AlgaeWatch Plumbing Kit is available here.


    Habwatch Conference
    Real-time Coastal Observing Systems for Ecosystem Dynamics & Harmful Algal Blooms
    June 11-21, 2003
    Villefranche-Sur-Mer, France
    Our products will be presented at the EMS booth

    ERF 2003
    Estuaries On The Edge: Convergence of Ocean, Land & Culture
    September 14-18, 2003
    Seattle, WA



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