PROGRAMS AND PLANS-Policy for Permission to Sample

In Reply Refer To:                                 March 26, 1990
WGS-Mail Stop 412


Subject: PROGRAMS AND PLANS-Policy for Permission to Sample


It is Water Resources Division policy to obtain oral or
written permission before sampling on private property,
restricted public property, and leased Federal land. For
public properties, District or Project Offices must
determine whether access is restricted and, therefore,
whether permission to sample is required.

Experience indicates that oral permission to sample is
easier to obtain; however, written permission provides
stronger legal protection. The District or Project Office
may decide which mode to use.


1. Obtain written or oral permission to sample.

2. Document oral or written permission to sample.

A. Oral permission should be documented by filling out
a project log that cites location, date, permitter,
kind of sample, and name of U.S. Geological Survey
(USGS) personnel.

B. Written permission should be documented by retaining
a copy of a signed written permission form in District
or Project Office files. Attachment 1 is an example
of a form seeking written permission to sample.

3. Persons who provide permission to sample will be:

A. Given an information sheet that explains the purpose
of sampling and includes the mailing address and
phone number of the appropriate USGS office,

B. Informed that all verified/accepted data will be 
entered into the National Water Information System
and be available to the public,

C. Informed that an appropriate agency may be notified
if constituents exceed the Maximum Contaminant 
Levels (MCL's) specified by the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency for drinking water or potential
drinking-water sources,

D. Furnished a copy of all verified/accepted data and
notified of any constituents that exceed MCL's.

                                        Philip Cohen
                                        Chief Hydrologist


This memorandum does not supersede any previous WRD

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

                                         Attachment 1

    E X A M P L E
                    U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY

Permission to Collect Water Samples.

I (we) __________________________ hereby give my (our)
permission to the U.S. Geological Survey to collect a water
sample(s) from my well, spring, stream, lake, or reservoir.
I understand that this sample will be analyzed by the
U.S. Geological Survey and that the data will be used for
scientific purposes. I also understand that I will be
furnished a copy of the analysis and that the data will be
stored in the Geological Survey's computer storage files and
become public information at that time. The U.S. Geological
Survey has also informed me (us) that some results of the
analysis that exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency's Primary Drinking Water Standard Maximum Contaminant
Levels may be reported to a local, State, or Federal
regulatory agency.

In addition to collecting a sample(s) for a laboratory
analysis, the U.S. Geological Survey may also make a series
Of concurrent physical measurements such as water level,
streamflow, pH, and temperature.

If I (we) have any questions about this program of the
U.S. Geological Survey, I can contact __________________
at the following telephone ______________________.

________________________________        __________________
Signature, Permitter                              Date

________________________________         __________________
Signature, U.S. Geological Survey                  Date
Local Address