Water Resources--Office of Water Quality

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smallbeakersNational Field Manual


By M.W. Sandstrom

Samples collected for analysis of dissolved pesticides can be processed at the laboratory or onsite through a column containing pesticide-specific sorbents. Onsite solid-phase extraction (SPE) is useful, especially at remote sites, because pesticides isolated on the sorbent are less susceptible to degradation than when in water. Also, the SPE cartridges are less expensive to ship than water samples. However, onsite SPE is not required, and in some situations, laboratory SPE might be preferred.

All SPE methods require that the water sample be filtered (section 5.2.2.A) as soon as possible after collection. General equipment and supply needs for SPE for a broad-spectrum analysis of pesticides are listed in table 5-7 and general instructions are given in sections 5.3.1 and 5.3.2. More detailed information on SPE methods and procedures can be found in Sandstrom and others (1992), Sandstrom (1995), Zaugg and others (1995), Lindley and others (1996), and Werner and others (1996).

Filter the environmental sample (section 5.2.2.A): this is necessary to prevent blockage of the SPE column by particulate material.
Process the pesticide sample through an SPE column within 4 days of collection.
Determine the reagents needed for the SPE method to be used (for example, conditioning solution, surrogate solution, and field-matrix spike solution).



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