Revision of New Division Protocol for Collecting and Processing Surface-Water Samples for Low-Level Inorganic Analyses

In Reply Refer To:                    January 28, 1994
Mail Stop 412


Subject:  Revision of New Division Protocol for Collecting 
          and Processing Surface-Water Samples for 
          Low-Level Inorganic Analyses

This memorandum conveys a revised version of the new 
Division protocol for collecting and processing surface-
water samples for low-level (microgram/liter, part-per-
billion) inorganic analyses.   Minor editorial corrections 
were made throughout the protocol and significant corrections
were made to the procedures that begin on page 40.  This 
version of the protocol, dated January 28, 1994, supersedes 
the version dated December 21, 1993.  The Office of Water 
Quality (OWQ) has plans to publish the protocol as an Open-
File Report after the protocol has been in use in the 
Division for about 6 months and any necessary revisions, based 
on practical experience, are made.

The OWQ has developed the protocol over the last 2 1/2 years 
to improve and assure the inorganic data produced in the
operational program.  In reading and using the protocol,
personnel are directed to OWQ Technical Memorandum 93.11, 
which covers (1) reasons for the protocol; (2) what is meant 
by "implementation"; (3) programs and projects affected,
including logistical considerations and equipment needs; 
(4) training needs; and (5) answers to some specific 
questions that have been asked about the protocol.

The implementation date for the protocol is February 1, 
1994.  That means that all new projects and programs that 
require low-level inorganic analyses and are started on or 
after that date will use the new protocol and it will become
standard operating procedure (SOP) in the Division for
collecting and processing these types of samples.  For those
projects and programs already in progress, the protocol should 
be applied as soon as possible.  That is, for a project 
whose field sampling is scheduled to end prior to October 1, 
1994, you have the option of using or not using the new 
protocol.  For longer term projects now in progress and 
continuing past October 1, 1994, the protocol should be 
applied as SOP as soon as practical.

For Federal programs, including NAWQA, Toxic Substances
Hydrology, DODEC, and NASQAN/Benchmark, the protocol will 
be implemented upon guidance from the respective Program
Managers.  This should be accomplished after February 1, 
1994, when practical, but no later than October 1, 1994.

The National Water Quality Laboratory is developing a set 
of Custom Analyses Schedules for analyzing deionized water
blanks.  The specifics are (1) a 2- to 3-week turnaround time;
(2) detection levels in the range of 0.2 to 0.4 ug/L, for 
15-20 (actual number to be determined) trace elements analyzed 
by ICP/MS; and (3) analyses of nutrients, major ions, and
additional trace elements by existing methods.  This new 
schedule and the issue of acid preservation are described in 
OWQ Technical Memorandum 94.06.

                           David A. Rickert
                           Chief, Office of Water Quality


This memorandum supersedes Office of Water Quality Technical
Memorandum 94.05.

Key Words:   Analysis, protocol, surface water

Distribution:  A, B, S, FO, PO, AH