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Water Resources--Office of Water Quality

...National Field Manual
CHAPTER A2. SELECTION OF EQUIPMENT FOR WATER SAMPLING

ABSTRACT

The National Field Manual for the Collection of Water-Quality Data (National Field Manual) describes protocols and provides guidelines for U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) personnel who collect data used to assess the quality of the Nation's surface-water and ground-water resources. This chapter of the manual addresses the selection of equipment commonly used by USGS personnel to collect and process water-quality samples.

Each chapter of the National Field Manual is published separately and revised periodically. Newly published and revised chapters will be announced on the USGS Home Page on the World Wide Web under "New Publications of the U.S. Geological Survey." The URL for this page is http://water.usgs.gov/lookup/get?newpubs.

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INTRODUCTION

As part of its mission, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) collects data needed to assess the quality of our Nation's water resources. The National Field Manual for the Collection of Water-Quality Data (National Field Manual) describes protocols (requirements and recommendations) and provides guidelines for USGS personnel who collect those data on surface-water and ground-water resources. Chapter A2 provides information about equipment used to collect and process water samples. Requirements, recommendations, and guidelines are described that pertain to the selection and use of field equipment by USGS personnel.

Formal training and field apprenticeship are needed in order to correctly implement the requirements and recommendations described in this chapter.

The National Field Manual is Section A of Book 9 of the USGS publication series "Techniques of Water-Resources Investigations" and consists of individually published chapters. Chapter numbers are preceded by an "A" to indicate that the report is part of the National Field ManuaL. Chapters of the National Field Manual are referred to in the text by the abbreviation "NFM" followed by the chapter number (or chapter and section number). For example, NFM 4 refers to Chapter 4 on "Collection of Water Samples," and NFM 4.1 refers to the section on surface-water sampling methods.

Purpose and Scope

The National Field Manual is targeted specifically toward field personnel in order to (1) establish and communicate scientifically sound methods and procedures, (2) provide methods that minimize data bias and, when properly applied, result in data that are reproducible within acceptable limits of variability, (3) encourage consistent use of field methods for the purpose of producing nationally comparable data, and (4) provide citable documentation for USGS water-quality data-collection protocols.

The purpose of chapter 2 of the National Field Manual is to provide field personnel and other interested parties with a description of the requirements, recommendations, and guidelines routinely used for equipment selection in USGS studies involving the collection and processing of water-quality samples. (The terms "required" and "recommended," as used in this report, are explained below under "Requirements and Recommendations.") The information provided covers topics fundamental to the collection and processing of surface-water and ground-water samples that are representative of the ambient environment. This chapter does not attempt to encompass the entire spectrum of data-collection objectives, site characteristics, environmental conditions, and technological advances related to water-quality studies. Also beyond the scope of this chapter is discussion of equipment to collect and process samples for analysis of suspended solids or biological materials.

Requirements and Recommendations

As used in the National Field Manual, the terms required and recommended have USGS-specific meanings.

Required (require, required, or requirements) pertains to USGS protocols and indicates that USGS Office of Water Quality policy has been established on the basis of research and (or) consensus of the technical staff and has been reviewed by water-quality specialists and selected District1 or other professional personnel, as appropriate. Technical memorandums or other internal documents that define the policy pertinent to such requirements are referenced in this manual. Personnel are instructed to use required equipment or procedures as described herein. Departure from or modifications to the stipulated requirements that might be necessary to accomplishing specific data-quality requirements or study objectives must be based on referenced research and good field judgment, and be quality assured and documented.

Recommended (recommend, recommended, recommendation) pertains to USGS protocols and indicates that USGS Office of Water Quality policy recognizes that one or several alternatives to a given procedure or equipment selection are acceptable on the basis of research and (or) consensus. References to technical memorandums and selected publications pertinent to such recommendations are cited in this chapter to the extent that such documents are available. Specific data-quality requirements, study objectives, or other constraints affect the choice of recommended equipment or procedures. Selection from among the recommended alternatives should be based on referenced research and good field judgment, and reasons for the selection must be documented. Departure from or modifications to recommended procedures must be quality assured and documented.

Field Manual Review and Revision

Chapters of the National Field Manual will be reviewed, revised, and reissued periodically to correct any errors, incorporate technical advances, and address additional topics. Comments or corrections can be sent to NFM-QW, USGS, 412 National Center, Reston, VA 20192 (or send electronic mail to nfm-owq@usgs.gov). Newly published and revised chapters will be announced on the USGS Home Page on the World Wide Web under "New Publications of the U.S. Geological Survey." The URL for this page is <http://water.usgs.gov/lookup/get?newpubs> .

Acknowledgments

The information included in this chapter of the National Field Manual is based on existing manuals, various reference documents, and a broad spectrum of colleague expertise. In addition to the references provided, important source materials included USGS handbooks, manuals, and technical memorandums. The following USGS personnel developed the manuals that provided the foundation for this National Field Manual: M.E. Dorsey, T.K. Edwards, W.B. Garrett, W.J. Gibbons, R.T. Kirkland, L.R. Kister, J.R. Knapton, M.T. Koterba, C.E. Lamb, W.W. Lapham, R.F. Middelburg, Jr., J. Rawson, L.R. Shelton, M.A. Sylvester, and F.C. Wells.

The editors wish to thank and pay tribute to R.W. Lee and S.W. McKenzie for their final technical reviews, which contributed to the accuracy and quality of this report. The technical content of this report was enhanced by expertise from B.A. Bernard, Dallas Childers, Jr., T.K. Edwards, G.D. Glysson, J.R. Gray, A.J. Horowitz, H.E. Jobson, J.W. LaBaugh, R.H. Meade, Jr., W.C. O'Neal, R.L. Rickman, S.K. Sando, J.V. Skinner, R.L. Snyder, and Y.E. Stoker. Valuable editorial assistance was provided by I.M. Collies, C.M. Eberle, B.B. Palcsak, and Chester Zenone. Production assistance from L.S. Rogers, C.T. Mendelsohn, L.E. Menoyo, and A.M. Weaver was instrumental in maintaining the quality of this report.

Special thanks go to T.L. Miller, whose encouragement and faith in this project has been instrumental to its achievement, and to D.A. Rickert and J.R. Ward for providing the support needed to produce a national field manual for water-quality studies.

Appreciation is extended to the following companies who granted us permission to publish their illustrations in this manual: Bennett Sample Pumps, Inc., Amarillo, Tex.; Cole-Parmer Instrument Company, Vernon Hills, Ill.; Fultz Pumps, Inc., Lewistown, Pa.; Gelman Sciences, Ann Arbor, Mich.; GeoTech Environmental Equipment, Inc., Denver, Colo.; Keck Instruments, Inc., Williamston, Mich.; Savillex Corporation, Minnetonka, Minn.; Timco Manufacturing Company, Prairie du Sac, Wis.; US Filter/Johnson Screens, St. Paul, Minn.; and Wildlife Supply Company, Saginaw, Mich.


1"District" refers to an organizational unit of the USGS, Water Resources Division, in any of the States or Territories of the United States.

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