Development of Effective Ground-Water Sampling Protocols

    Published: Jan 1988

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    The demand for representative ground-water quality samples has been driven by the realization that our water resources are vulnerable to a variety of surface contaminant sources. The techniques by which samples are collected will materially affect the reliability of the analytical data. In this paper, the need for the progressive refinement of sampling and related techniques into sampling protocols is emphasized over the standardization of monitoring network designs or the drilling, sampling, and analytical protocols which are elements of the design. The most effective sampling protocol for a particular investigation must be tailored to the actual site conditions and the information needs of the program. Essential elements of a comprehensive sampling protocol are identified and an example which should prove useful for designing reliable ground-water quality investigations is provided. The example network design is developed by a series of decision trees which allow one to weigh various factors and conditions in a direct manner so as to document how decisions are made. The best model for an effective ground-water sampling protocol is one that is flexible and permits refinement as conditions at a site become better understood.


    ground water, sampling procedures, hydrology, water quality, water chemistry

    Author Information:

    Barcelona, MJ
    Head, Aquatic Chemistry Section, and head, Illinois State Water Survey, Champaign, IL

    Gibb, JP
    Head, Aquatic Chemistry Section, and head, Illinois State Water Survey, Champaign, IL

    Committee/Subcommittee: D18.21

    DOI: 10.1520/STP44845S

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