Summary of Documentation that Describes Instrumentation and Field Methods for Collecting Sediment Data In Reply Refer To: October 8, 1992 Mail Stop 415 OFFICE OF SURFACE WATER TECHNICAL MEMORANDUM NO. 93.01 SUBJECT: Summary of Documentation that Describes Instrumentation and Field Methods for Collecting Sediment Data Office of Surface Water Technical Memorandum No. 92.08 listed all Water Resources Division (WRD), Office of Water Quality (OWQ), and Office of Surface Water (OSW) memorandums issued since 1971 that pertain to sediment activities. The present memorandum builds upon OSW Technical Memorandum No. 92.08 by summarizing documentation that describes instrumentation and field methods recommended for collection of sediment data. Information contained in this memorandum should provide a reference for field personnel involved in collecting sediment data. Subsequent memorandums will be issued that summarize procedures recommended for other aspects of sediment activities. INSTRUMENTATION SUSPENDED SEDIMENT Instrumentation currently available for the collection of suspended sediment is summarized in Edwards and Glysson (1986), which was announced in OSW Technical Memorandum No. 88.17. There are seven depth-integrating, three point-integrating, and two pumping samplers currently available from either the Federal Interagency Sedimentation Project or the Hydrologic Instrumentation Facility (HIF) for collecting suspended sediment samples. Proper use of all samplers is described in Edwards and Glysson (1986). Sampler characteristics are summarized in Edwards and Glysson (1986), Table 1. Tables and text in "Guidelines for the collection, treatment, and analysis of water samples, U.S.JGeological Survey Western Region Field Manual, (Written communication, M.JA.JSylvester) provide concise, field-oriented information on proper use of suspended-sediment samplers. It should be noted that this field manual has not received Director's approval. Several errors, omissions, and/or inconsistencies have been noted between the manual and WRD policy and within the manual itself (see attached comments on "Guidelines for the Collection, Treatment, and Analysis of Water Samples, U.S. Geological Survey, Western Region, Field Manual"). Official WRD policy should be followed if any inconsistencies are found. The field manual is printed on waterproof paper to maximize usefulness in the field. In addition to the references mentioned above, information on availability and proper use of suspended-sediment samplers is contained in the following U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) memorandums: WRD Technical Memorandum Nos. 76.07, "New suspended sediment-- water quality samplers" and 76.156T, "Suspended-sediment sampler, D-74"-- Memorandum No. 76.07 announces the availability of the D-74 depth-integrating sampler. Memorandum 76.156T reiterates that the D-49 sampler was replaced by the D-74 sampler and lists advantages of the D-74 over the D-49 sampler. Quality of Water Branch (QWB) Technical Memorandum 77.03, "DH-75 Suspended-sediment sampler"-- Announces the availability of the DH-75 suspended-sediment sampler, which was designed to sample under ice. Versions capable of holding both pint or quart plastic bottles are available. A version of this sampler capable of holding a half- gallon bottle was originally available. The half-gallon version, designated DH-75H, is no longer available due to the large unsampled zone associated with it. This problem was alluded to in Memorandum No. 77.03. The DH-75 is generally not recommended for general use. It should only be used under freezing conditions. WRD Technical Memorandum No. 77.151, "Removal of sediment samplers from controlled property"-- Announces that sediment samplers costing less than $500 will no longer be considered controlled property. QWB Technical Memorandum No. 80.03, "P-61 and P-63 point- integrating samplers"-- This memorandum informs users that the P-61 and P-63 samplers most commonly malfunction because water gets into the head cavity and corrodes the plug and solenoid assembly. The memorandum describes how this can happen and what can be done to avoid it. A summary of operating procedures for the P-61 sampler is also attached to the memorandum. QWB Technical Memorandum No. 81.02, "Operation and availability, D-77 water-quality sampler"-- Announces availability of the D-77 sampler. The D-77 sampler uses a relatively large 3-liter plastic bottle that can be autoclaved. The design was chosen to allow a large volume, depth-integrated sample for biological and chemical studies. The memorandum describes the sampler design and recommended uses. QWB Technical Memorandum No. 81.06, "Automatic pumping samplers-- Test of efficiency of Manning and ISCO samplers"-- Transmitted a brief technical report written by the U.S. Forest Service describing tests done on performance of Manning and ISCO pumping samplers. The report discusses the need to frequently check the efficiency of pumping samplers. The memorandum indicates that sampler efficiency is generally reduced as the concentration of sand-size material increases. QWB Technical Memorandum No. 80.06, "Samplers: color-coded nozzles for sediment samplers"-- Announces use of color coded nozzles for sediment samplers. Sediment samplers are now supplied with color-coded nozzles to easily identify what nozzle should be used with a given sampler. QWB Technical Memorandum No. 80.18, "Samplers--Problems with installation of plastic nozzles on samplers"-- Warns against overtightening plastic nozzles when installing them in sediment samplers, particularly the DH-48. QWB Technical Memorandum No. 83.08, "Bag-type suspended-sediment sampler"-- Announces a modification of the D-77 sampler, termed the bag- type suspended-sediment sampler. The bag-type sampler can collect samples at depths greater than 19 feet, which is generally accepted as the maximum depth at which samples can be collected isokenitically in rigid containers. This is usually referred to as the "compression-depth limit." Memorandum 83.08 suggests four rules that should be followed when using the bag- type sampler. These rules should be followed closely, because the sampler is prone to undersampling. TRACE ELEMENT DATA Epoxy coated versions of the D-77 and DH-81 samplers are available for collecting trace metal data. However, recent experiments to identify sources and levels of contamination have brought traditional field methods and sampling equipment into question. Actions being taken by the OWQ to improve trace element sampling and to provide advice to field personnel are described in several recent OWQ memorandums: OWQ Technical Memorandum No. 91.10, "Dissolved Trace Element Data"-- Describes the present understanding, ramifications, and issues that require resolution surrounding possible contamination of dissolved trace-element data. OWQ Technical Memorandum No. 92.03, "Statement Regarding Dissolved Trace-Element Data Production Through Water Year 1991"-- Provides a statement to be placed in State annual data reports that warns that some trace-element data contained in the reports might reflect sample contamination. This memorandum was replaced by OWQ Technical Memorandum No. 92.04 (see below). OWQ Technical Memorandum No. 92.04, "Revised Statement Regarding Dissolved Trace-Element Data Production"-- Revises statement included in OWQ Technical Memorandum No.J92.03. OWQ Technical Memorandum No. 92.05, "Quality of Existing Dissolved Trace-Element Data"-- Describes implications of OWQ Technical Memorandum 91.10. Also describes how the Division can deal with issues of uncertainty in the validity and usefulness of existing dissolved trace- element data. OWQ Technical Memorandum No. 92.12, "Trace Element Concentrations in Deionized Water Processed Through Selected Surface-Water Samplers: Study Results and Implications"-- Identifies levels of dissolved trace element contamination associated with selected surface-water samplers. Additionally, concludes a cleaning procedure using acid is necessary for all samples to be used in parts-per-billion protocols. OWQ Technical Memorandum No. 92.13, "Trace Element Concentration: Findings of Studies on the Cleaning of Membrane Filters and Filtration Systems"-- Summarizes results and conclusions from a series of experiments emphasizing the cleaning of filters and filtration systems. Also, compares dissolved trace element concentrations in sequential rinses of three brands of filters. PUMPING SAMPLERS Pumping samplers can be used where frequent samples are needed and conditions make manual collection of samples impractical. In the past the Federal Interagency Sedimentation Project has supplied two samplers, the US PS-69 and US PS-82. Neither sampler is presently in stock. US PS-69 samplers can be special ordered from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Waterways Experiment Station (WES) (contact Wayne O'Neal at 601/634-2624) at 3909 Halls Ferry Road, in Vicksburg, Mississippi. US PS-82 samplers have been phased out. Some parts for both samplers are available from the Federal Interagency Sedimentation Project. Electrical repairs on either the US PS-69 or US PS-82 samplers should be coordinated through the HIF at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. Mechanical repairs on either type of sampler should be coordinated through WES. There are a number of automatic pumping-type samplers available commercially. The Manning S-4050 and ISCO 1680 are two that are commonly used by USGS personnel. Edwards and Glysson (1986) list 17 criteria that should be met when operating pumping-type samplers. Edwards and Glysson (1986) also describe installation and use of pumping samplers as well as how the "point" data collected by these samplers should be analyzed. TURBIDITY QWB Technical Memorandum No. 73.11 transmits "Falling-stream turbidimeters as a means of measuring sediment concentrations in streams," by H. P. Guy and R. C. Olson. The memorandum and report discuss the use of turbidity as an indicator of suspended-sediment concentration. Records of turbidity should only be used to provide an indication of variations in sediment concentration with time. Any record of turbidity must be accompanied with actual samples of sediment concentration. BEDLOAD OSW Technical Memorandum No. 90.08 summarizes WRD policy issues relevant to bedload. As pointed out in Memorandum 90.08, bedload samples can be collected wherever physical conditions permit. OSW Technical Memorandum No. 90.08 lists 10 different samplers available for sampling bedload. Four of those samplers have a nozzle expansion ratio of 3.22. The other six have an expansion ratio of 1.40, which is the ratio accepted by the Technical Committee of the Federal Interagency Sedimentation Subcommittee. As pointed out in OSW Memorandum No. 90.08, samplers with a nozzle expansion ratio of 1.40 are presently recommended, although use of samplers with a 3.22 expansion ratio is acceptable. OSW Technical Memorandum No.J90.08 supercedes OWQ Technical Memorandum No. 76.04, 77.07, 79.17, and 80.07, as well as WRD Technical Memorandum No.77.60. BED MATERIAL There are at least 17 different samplers available for sampling bed material. Nearly all of those samplers are useful only for sampling material finer than 16 mm (Edwards and Glysson, 1988). Standard equipment is not available for sampling large bed material. Indirect methods, such as the "pebble count" method used by Wolman (1954), are commonly used to estimate the grain- size distribution of coarse bed material. Edwards and Glysson (1986) and "Guidelines for the collection, treatment, and analysis of water samples, U.S. Geological Survey Western Region Field Manual, (Written communication, M. A. Sylvester) discuss commonly used bed material samplers. FIELD METHODS SUSPENDED-SEDIMENT SAMPLING WRD Technical Memorandum No. 71.73 was issued to inform the Division that techniques adopted by the USGS for the collection and analysis of sediment samples are described in three Techniques of Water-Resources Investigations reports: Book 3, Chapter C1 - "Fluvial Sediment Concepts" by H. P. Guy Book 3, Chapter C2 - "Field Methods for Measurement of Fluvial Sediment" by G. Porterfield Book 3, Chapter C1 - "Laboratory Theory and Methods for Sediment Analysis" by H. P. Guy. Although there have been no additional Techniques of Water Resources chapters written to supersede any of the chapters mentioned in WRD Technical Memorandum No. 71.73, Open-File Report 86-531 is essentially a replacement for Book 3, Chapter C2. Open- File Report 86-531, which is presently being prepared for release as a Techniques of Water-Resources Investigations report, should now be used as the reference on field methods and measurement of fluvial sediment. Field methods for collecting suspended-sediment samples are summarized in "Guidelines for the collection, treatment, and analysis of water samples, U.S.JGeological Survey Western Region Field Manual, (Written communication, M. A. Sylvester) In addition to the references mentioned above, guidance on collecting suspended-sediment samples can be found in several OWQ, OSW, and WRD memorandums, which are summarized below. USE OF THE CHURN SPLITTER FOR COLLECTING SUSPENDED-SEDIMENT SAMPLES-- OWQ Technical Memorandum Nos. 76.17, 76.24-T, 77.01, 78.03 and 80.17 contain information on use of the churn splitter for drawing representative subsamples from large composite samples. However, information contained in these memorandums is somewhat vague and confusing. For example, OWQ Technical Memorandum No. 76.17 states that "Samples for bacterial determination or for analysis of sediment concentration and particle size analyses should not be composited." Memorandum 78.03 states that "sediment concentration and particle-size subsamples may be taken directly from the churn" when "essentially all particles are silt-size or smaller." Because it is difficult to tell in the field whether or not samples contain sand-sized particles, it is suggested that all sediment samples be collected in accordance with Water Quality Technical Memorandum No. 76.17, which states that "Samples ... for analysis of sediment concentration and particle size analyses should not be composited." The churn splitter, therefore, should not be used for sediment sampling. If samples must be split, it is best to use the cone splitter (see QWB Technical Memorandum 80.17). BEDLOAD SAMPLING Bedload samples can be collected wherever physical conditions permit. OSW Technical Memorandum No. 90.08 summarizes WRD policy on bedload. OSW Memorandum No. 90.08 also provides a background of bedload-related research done in the WRD, supplies guidelines on sampler selection, and summarizes methods used to collect and reduce bedload data. A detailed description of methods used to collect and reduce bedload data is given in Edwards and Glysson (1986). "Guidelines for the collection, treatment, and analysis of water samples, U.S. Geological Survey Western Region Field Manual," (Written communication, M. A. Sylvester) provides a field-oriented summary of methods used to collect bedload data. GUIDELINES FOR MISCELLANEOUS FIELD METHODS Memorandums issued since 1971 provide guidelines for several field methods related to several different types of investigations: QWB Technical Memorandum No. 72.10, "Sediment computations-- Conversion of suspended-sediment concentration from parts per million to milligrams per liter"-- Contains a table for converting suspended-sediment concentrations from parts per million to milligrams per liter. The table attached to Memorandum 72.10 supercedes Table 1 in Techniques of Water Resources Investigations, Book 5, Chapter C1, p. 4. QWB Technical Memorandum 81.16, "Report--A guide for predicting sheet and rill erosion on forest land, USDA Technical Publication SA-TP 11"-- Informs Division personnel that demand for the report "A guide for predicting sheet and rill erosion on forest land," USDA Technical Publication SA-TP 11, September, 1980, has exceeded supply of reports at the QWB. The memorandum gives an address for the Forest Service in Atlanta from whom additional copies can be ordered. WRD Technical Memorandum No. 83.79, "Collection and analysis of samples in connection with investigations of hydrologic effects of hazardous waste sites"-- Presents WRD's commitment to train employees in the proper use of equipment and techniques to insure safe collection, handling, and analysis of samples in connection with studies of hazardous waste sites. Also, transmits a safety plan for WRD field activities at hazardous waste sites. OSW Technical Memorandum No. 87.07, which transmits the report "Pilot study for collection of bridge-scour data" and 89.10, which announces the availability of the report, "Use of surface- geophysical methods to assess riverbed scour at bridge piers"-- This memorandum and related report provides information relative to the study of bridge scour. Memorandum 87.07 transmitted results of "Pilot Study for Collection of Bridge Scour Data" by R. D. Jarrett and J. M. Boyle. The Jarrett and Boyle report provides information on how to collect data on scour around bridge piers. Memorandum 89.10 announced availability of "Use of Surface-Geophysical Methods to Assess Riverbed Scour at Bridge Piers," by S. R. Gorin and F. P. Haeni. The Gorin and Haeni report discusses the performance and characteristics of four geophysical methods to define existing and previous scour holes around bridge piers. REFERENCES Edwards, T.K. and Glysson, G.D., 1988, Field methods for measurement of fluvial sediment: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 86-531, 118 p. Wolman, M.G., 1954, A method of sampling coarse river bed material: American Geophysical Union Transcript, V. 35, no. 6, p.J951. Charles W. Boning, Chief Office of Surface Water Attachment WRD DISTRIBUTION: A, B, FO, PO ATTACHMENT Comments on "Guidelines for the Collection, Treatment, and Analysis of Water Samples, U.S. Geological Survey, Western Region, Field Manual." 1) Page 2--First paragraph-It should be mentioned that the OSW sets policy for sediment data-collection activities. 2) Page 10-11--Table 1-Several corrections are needed. For example, the DH-81 can use a 1/8-inch nozzle, the maximum depth for the DH-81 is either 9 feet or 16Jfeet depending on the bottle size, and the D-74 with a 1/4-inch nozzle and pint bottle has a maximum depth of 9 feet. 3) Page 12--The DH-75 sampler was designed to be used under ice (see QWB Technical Memorandum 77.03). This is not mentioned on page 12. 4) Page 12--The Federal Interagency Sedimentation Project currently only recommends use of 3/16- and 1/4-inch nozzles with the DH-81. Filling rate problems have been identified using the 5/16-inch nozzle. The small opening of the 1/8-inch nozzle becomes frayed reducing sampling efficiency significantly. 5) Page 13--The D-77 has the same problems with the 1/8-inch nozzle mentioned above for the DH-81. 6) Page 13-14--It should be noted that the P-61, P-63, and P-72 samplers are to be used when the stream depth exceeds 15 feet. 7) Page 15--The second paragraph from the bottom should state that a 1/8-inch nozzle should not be used when sand-sized particles are in suspension because a nozzle will start to exclude particles about one-half of its diameter. In the case of the 1/8-inch nozzle, this would include particles about 1.5 mm in size. 8) Page 18--Table 2. The HS-85 bedload sampler is not available. 9) Page 25--It should be noted that the EDI method is only valid if the concentration in the cross section is relatively uniform. If the concentration is not uniform, more than nine verticals may be needed. The EWI method may be more desirable under these conditions. Also, the manual does not mention that samples collected using the EDI method can be composited if the volume of samples from each vertical are nearly the same. This, however, will cause information on lateral distribution of concentration to be lost. Compositing samples also eliminates the possibility of detecting individual samples, which may not be representative. 10) Page 49--Second paragraph-statement here conflicts with statement on page 33 about use of the churn splitter. See statements under the heading "Use of the churn splitter for collecting suspended-sediment samples" in the main body of this memorandum for guidance in use of sample splitters.