Backscatter output from a 10 MHz acoustic Doppler velocimeter (ADV) was used to quantify suspended sediment concentrations in a laboratory setting using sand-sized particles. The experiments included (a) well-sorted sand samples ranging in size from 0.112 to 0.420 mm, obtained by the sieving of construction sand, (b) different, known mixtures of these well-sorted fractions, and (c) sieved natural beach sand with median sizes ranging from 0.112 to 0.325 mm. The tested concentrations ranged from 25 to 3000 mg.L (1). The backscatter output was empirically related to concentration and sediment size, and when non-dimensionalized by acoustic wavelength, a dimensionless sediment size gradation coefficient. Size-dependent upper and lower bounds on measurable concentrations were also established empirically. The range of measurable conditions is broad enough to make the approach useful for sand sizes and concentrations commonly encountered in nature. A new method is proposed to determine concentrations in cases of mixed-size sediment suspensions when only calibration data for well-sorted constituent sands are available. This approach could potentially allow better estimates when the suspended load is derived from but is not fully representative of the bed material, and when the size characteristics of the suspended material are varying in time over the period of interest. Differences in results between the construction and beach sands suggest that sediment shape may also need to be considered, and point to the importance of calibrating to sediments encountered at the site of interest.