WATER QUALITY--Guidelines on Sampling Ground Water for Determination of Organic Compounds--With Comments on Analytical Protocols In Reply Refer To: April 22, 1985 WGS Mail Stop 412 QUALITY OF WATER BRANCH TECHNICAL MEMORANDUM NO. 85.09 Subject: WATER QUALITY--Guidelines on Sampling Ground Water for Determination of Organic Compounds--With Comments on Analytical Protocols In recent years, the Water Resources Division has witnessed a significant increase in the level of interest and concern, both among our cooperators and internally, regarding contamination of ground waters with manmade organic substances. At the present time, there are no U.S. Geological Survey- approved standard methods for collecting ground-water samples where the constituents of interest are manmade organic compounds and, indeed, it appears that much additional research and practical field experience is needed before acceptable methods are established and described in approved Techniques of Water Resources Investigations (TWRI) format. The materials used in casings, sampling devices, and containers must be tested for contamination or adsorption effects; quality-assurance procedures need to be developed and implemented; for some constituents at some concentrations, new approaches to sampling may be needed and some are being studied and tested at the present time. For the time being, in the absence of approved Geological Survey methods, the Quality of Water Branch, with the assistance of the Ground Water Branch, will periodically distribute to the field offices publications, committee reports, or citations of literature articles dealing with this subject. These materials, we hope, will provide satisfactory interim guidance to personnel engaged in data collection and interpretive work in ground-water resources. In addition, the Branches and the Office of Hazardous Waste Hydrology will assist, if needed, in the design of ground- water sampling programs. The first set of guidleines was distributed in March 1983, under Quality of Water Branch Technical Memorandum 83.12. These brief guidelines resulted from deliberations of the Organic Substances Task Group (an advisory committee of the Quality of Water Branch with membership from the laboratories, the research program, the operational program, and the Branch) over a qoestionnaire from the New Jersey District circulated to several experts on this subject within the Division. The guidelines were updated with new information and literature citations in March 1984, under Quality of Water Branch Technical Memorandum 84.11. Since the last update, many new research results and some excellent manuals on the subject have been published and several workers in the Division have gained field and laboratory experience. In addition, the original guidelines did not address a number of important subjects such as drilling and casing methods, and analytical protocols. Since September 1984, the Organic Substances Task Group and a number of the group's consultants have turned their attention to developing the extensive revision of the guidelines transmitted herewith. These guidelines have also been carefully reviewed by specialists in the Ground Water Branch. We trust that these guidelines will be of assistance to the field and project offices. We will continue our efforts to keep abreast of this fast-changing field and communicate new findings and views promptly. David A. Rickert Acting Chief, Quality of Water Branch Attachment WRD Distribution: A, B, FO, PO Key Words: Water quality, sampling, organic compounds, ground water, toxic wastes This memorandum does not supercede any previous memorandum but refers to and updates Quality of Water Branch Technical Memorandum 83.12 and 84.11.