ASTM D6051 - 96(2006)

    Standard Guide for Composite Sampling and Field Subsampling for Environmental Waste Management Activities

    Active Standard ASTM D6051 | Developed by Subcommittee: D34.01.01

    Book of Standards Volume: 11.04


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    ASTM D6051

    Significance and Use

    This guide provides guidance to persons managing or responsible for designing sampling and analytical plans for determining whether sample compositing may assist in more efficiently meeting study objectives. Samples must be composited properly, or useful information on contamination distribution and sample variance may be lost.

    The procedures described for mixing samples and obtaining a representative subsample are broadly applicable to waste sampling where it is desired to transport a reduced amount of material to the laboratory. The mixing and subsampling sections provide guidance to persons preparing sampling and analytical plans and field personnel.

    While this guide generally focuses on solid materials, the attributes and limitations of composite sampling apply equally to static liquid samples.

    1. Scope

    1.1 Compositing and subsampling are key links in the chain of sampling and analytical events that must be performed in compliance with project objectives and instructions to ensure that the resulting data are representative. This guide discusses the advantages and appropriate use of composite sampling, field procedures and techniques to mix the composite sample and procedures to collect an unbiased and precise subsample(s) from a larger sample. It discusses the advantages and limitations of using composite samples in designing sampling plans for characterization of wastes (mainly solid) and potentially contaminated media. This guide assumes that an appropriate sampling device is selected to collect an unbiased sample.

    1.2 The guide does not address: where samples should be collected (depends on the objectives) (see Guide D 6044), selection of sampling equipment, bias introduced by selection of inappropriate sampling equipment, sample collection procedures or collection of a representative specimen from a sample, or statistical interpretation of resultant data and devices designed to dynamically sample process waste streams. It also does not provide sufficient information to statistically design an optimized sampling plan, or determine the number of samples to collect or calculate the optimum number of samples to composite to achieve specified data quality objectives (see Practice D 5792). Standard procedures for planning waste sampling activities are addressed in Guide D 4687.

    1.3 The sample mixing and subsampling procedures described in this guide are considered inappropriate for samples to be analyzed for volatile organic compounds. Volatile organics are typically lost through volatilization during sample collection, handling, shipping and laboratory sample preparation unless specialized procedures are used. The enhanced mixing described in this guide is expected to cause significant losses of volatile constituents. Specialized procedures should be used for compositing samples for determination of volatiles such as combining directly into methanol (see Practice D 4547).

    1.4 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.


    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

    C702 Practice for Reducing Samples of Aggregate to Testing Size

    D1129 Terminology Relating to Water

    D4439 Terminology for Geosynthetics

    D4547 Guide for Sampling Waste and Soils for Volatile Organic Compounds

    D4687 Guide for General Planning of Waste Sampling

    D5088 Practice for Decontamination of Field Equipment Used at Waste Sites

    D5792 Practice for Generation of Environmental Data Related to Waste Management Activities: Development of Data Quality Objectives

    D6044 Guide for Representative Sampling for Management of Waste and Contaminated Media

    E856 Definitions of Terms and Abbreviations Relating to Physical and Chemical Characteristics of Refuse Derived Fuel


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.030.01 (Wastes in general)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 77100000(Environmental management)


    DOI: 10.1520/D6051-96R06

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