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Sampling Guidelines

E. S. Babcock & SonsSee below for further information on how to gather samples.  For analyses not listed, contact our office for more information.

Bacteriological Sampling Instructions

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Storm Water Sampling Instructions

One kit per discharge point should be requested prior to the storm event. Discharge points to be monitored should be identified in the Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) for the industrial site. If not identified in the plan, a discharge point is any representative location where storm water leaves the property and enters the storm draining system. Examples are: driveways, gutters, drainage pipes, walkways, or drainage into covered storm drain access points.

When sampling, care should be taken to fill the container slowly, to ensure that the water does not overflow the container. If this happens, it will dilute the preservative in the bottle. Make sure there is no headspace in vials that are preserved with Hydrochloric Acid.

A vial marked TB is a travel blank that contains laboratory grade water. Do not open this vial, simply keep it with all of the other samples and return it to the laboratory with the rest of the bottles when you are finished taking your samples.

Sampling shall consist of a grab sample from a storm event that produces significant runoff, and is preceded by at least 72 hours of dry weather. The sample should be taken during the first hour of runoff, or soon thereafter with a note of explanation as to why the collection could not be made within the first hour.

Permittees are required to collect samples only if storm water runoff occurs during scheduled facility operating hours, or within 2 hours following scheduled facility operating hours. It is important to keep the samples chilled and to make sure that they are received by the laboratory as soon as possible (preferably within 24 hours of collection).

Important note:
If your permit requires you to take a sample for bacteriological analysis, you must return your samples to the laboratory within 4 hours after the sample has been taken. Otherwise, the sample will exceed the recommended holding time.

Volatile Organic Sampling Instructions

When collecting for volatile organic analysis, 40 mL amber glass vials with screw-top lids with septa should be utilized. If the sample is chlorinated, the vials should contain sodium thiosulfate salt (a dechlorinating agent). If the sample is not chlorinated, vials with hydrochloric acid should be used.

When sampling from a water tap, open the tap and allow the system to flush long enough to ensure that water sample is pulled from the main line, usually about 15 minutes. Reduce the tap flow so that the vial may be filled without overflowing its contents.

When sampling from a well, run the well for 3 to 10 times the well casing volume. Reduce the tap flow so that the vial may be filled without overflowing its contents.

When sampling from an open body of water, partially fill a wide mouth bottle with sample from a representative area. The water sample should be handled gently with minimum agitation to reduce loss of volatile compounds. Fill the glass vials from the wide mouth bottle. Do not overflow the vial as this will wash out the preservative.

It is important to sample in a way to minimize introduction of air into the vial as it is being filled. Fill each vial until the water level is higher than the lip, but does not overflow causing preservative to be lost. Tighten the screw-top lid with septum, onto the vial. This may cause a few drips of sample to trickle down the vial. This is acceptable. After tightening the lid, invert the vial and tap to check for air bubbles. If air bubbles (larger than pea sized) are detected, discard the sample and collect another.

Collect a minimum of two vials per location. One out of every 20 locations should be collected in quadruplicate for quality control analysis.

A travel blank must remain with the sample containers at all times. Travel blanks are available upon request. Submit the travel blank to the laboratory for analysis. (A travel blank is a vial obtained from the laboratory that contains reagent water and preservative. It must not be opened at any time. It is an indicator of contamination that might happen in the field during container storage, transport or sampling.)

Place samples immediately on ice (or blue ice) and transport to the laboratory.

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