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    ASTM D6311 - 98(2014)

    Standard Guide for Generation of Environmental Data Related to Waste Management Activities: Selection and Optimization of Sampling Design

    Active Standard ASTM D6311 | Developed by Subcommittee: D34.01.01

    Book of Standards Volume: 11.04

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    Significance and Use

    4.1 The intended use of this guide is to provide practical assistance in the development of an optimized sampling design. This standard describes or discusses:

    4.1.1 Sampling design selection criteria,

    4.1.2 Factors impacting the choice of a sampling design,

    4.1.3 Selection of a sampling design,

    4.1.4 Techniques for optimizing candidate designs, and

    4.1.5 The criteria for evaluating an optimized sampling design.

    4.2 Within a formal USEPA data generation activity, the planning process or Data Quality Objectives (DQO) development is the first step. The second and third are the implementation of the sampling and analysis design and the data quality assessment. Within the DQO planning process, the selection and optimization of the sampling design is the last step, and therefore, the culmination of the DQO process. The preceding steps in the DQO planning process address:

    4.2.1 The problem that needs to be addressed,

    4.2.2 The possible decisions,

    4.2.3 The data input and associated activities,

    4.2.4 The boundaries of the study,

    4.2.5 The development of decision rules, and

    4.2.6 The specified the limits on decision error.

    4.3 This guide is not intended to address the aspects of the planning process for development of the project objectives. However, the project objectives must be outlined and communicated to the design team, prior to the selection and optimization of the sample design.

    4.4 This guide references statistical aspects of the planning and implementation process and includes an appendix for the statistical calculation of the optimum number of samples for a given sampling design.

    4.5 This guide is intended for those who are responsible for making decisions about environmental waste management activities.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This document provides practical guidance on the selection and optimization of sample designs in waste management sampling activities, within the context of the requirements established by the data quality objectives or other planning process.

    1.2 This document (1) provides guidance for selection of sampling designs; (2) outlines techniques to optimize candidate designs; and (3) describes the variables that need to be balanced in choosing the final optimized design.

    1.3 The contents of this guide are arranged by section as follows:






    Referenced Documents








    Significance and Use




    Summary of Guide




    Factors Affecting Sampling Design Selection




    Sampling Design Performance Characteristics




    Regulatory Considerations




    Project Objectives




    Knowledge of the Site




    Physical Sample Issues




    Communication with the Laboratory




    Analytical Turn Around Time




    Analytical Method Constraints




    Health and Safety




    Budget/Cost Considerations








    Initial Design Selection



    Optimization Criteria



    Optimization Process




    Practical Evaluation of Design Alternatives




    Statistical and Cost Evaluation




    Final Selection




    Annex A1

    Types of Sampling Designs




    Commonly Used Sampling Designs




    Sampling Design Tools




    Combination Sample Designs



    Appendix X1. Additional References



    Appendix X2. Choosing Analytical Method Based on Variance and Cost



    Appendix X3. Calculating the Number of Samples: A Statistical Treatment


    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

    D5956 Guide for Sampling Strategies for Heterogeneous Wastes

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

    D6051 Guide for Composite Sampling and Field Subsampling for Environmental Waste Management Activities

    D6232 Guide for Selection of Sampling Equipment for Waste and Contaminated Media Data Collection Activities

    E135 Terminology Relating to Analytical Chemistry for Metals, Ores, and Related Materials

    E943 Terminology Relating to Biological Effects and Environmental Fate

    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.030.01 (Wastes in general)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 77100000(Environmental management); 81141500(Quality control)

    Referencing This Standard

    DOI: 10.1520/D6311-98R14

    ASTM International is a member of CrossRef.

    Citation Format

    ASTM D6311-98(2014), Standard Guide for Generation of Environmental Data Related to Waste Management Activities: Selection and Optimization of Sampling Design, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2014,

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