ASTM D4696 - 92(2008)

    Standard Guide for Pore-Liquid Sampling from the Vadose Zone

    Active Standard ASTM D4696 | Developed by Subcommittee: D18.21

    Book of Standards Volume: 04.08


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    Significance and Use

    Sampling from the vadose zone may be an important component of some groundwater monitoring strategies. It can provide information regarding contaminant transport and attenuation in the vadose zone. This information can be used for mitigating potential problems prior to degradation of a groundwater resource (1).

    The choice of appropriate sampling devices for a particular location is dependent on various criteria. Specific guidelines for designing vadose zone monitoring programs have been discussed by Morrison (1), Wilson (2), Wilson (3), Everett (4), Wilson (5), Everett, et al (6), Wilson (7), Everett, et al (8), Everett, et al (9), Robbins, et al (10), Merry and Palmer (11), U.S. EPA (12), Ball (13), and Wilson (14). In general, it is prudent to combine various unsaturated and free drainage samplers into a program, so that the different flow regimes may be monitored.

    This guide does not attempt to present details of installation and use of the equipment discussed. However, an effort has been made to present those references in which the specific techniques may be found.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This guide covers the equipment and procedures used for sampling pore-liquid from the vadose zone (unsaturated zone). The guide is limited to in situ techniques and does not include soil core collection and extraction methods for obtaining samples.

    1.2 The term pore-liquid is applicable to any liquid from aqueous pore-liquid to oil. However, all of the samplers described in this guide were designed, and are used to sample aqueous pore-liquids only. The abilities of these samplers to collect other pore-liquids may be quite different than those described.

    1.3 Some of the samplers described in this guide are not currently commercially available. These samplers are presented because they may have been available in the past, and may be encountered at sites with established vadose zone monitoring programs. In addition, some of these designs are particularly suited to specific situations. If needed, these samplers could be fabricated.

    1.4 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

    1.5 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

    1.6 This guide offers an organized collection of information or a series of options and does not recommend a specific course of action. This document cannot replace education or experience and should be used in conjunction with professional judgment. Not all aspects of this guide may be applicable in all circumstances. This ASTM standard is not intended to represent or replace the standard of care by which the adequacy of a given professional service must be judged, nor should this document be applied without consideration of a project's many unique aspects. The word Standard in the title of this document means only that the document has been approved through the ASTM consensus process.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D653 Terminology Relating to Soil, Rock, and Contained Fluids


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 07.060 (Geology. Meteorology. Hydrology)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    DOI: 10.1520/D4696-92R08

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