USGS - science for a changing world

USGS Water-Quality Information

*  Home *  Data *  Methods *  Labs *  Publications *  Topics *  Programs *  Contact Us [an error occurred while processing this directive] *  Intranet
 [Photo: USGS scientist collects water-quality samples.]

USGS scientists deploy SPMD and POCIS samplers to collect waterborne contaminants in Manoa Stream on Oahu, Hawaii.


Press Releases

Featured Science:

Past featured science...

Water Quality Data

Today's Water Conditions

Get continuous real-time water-quality measurements from Water-Quality Watch maps.
[Sample Water-Quality Watch Map]

Water Quality Portal (WQP)

Get current and historical USGS and EPA water-quality data at the WQP.


Get stream ecosystem aquatic bioassessment data from BioData.

For More Data

View a complete list of USGS water-quality data resources.

USGS in Your Area

USGS Water Science Centers are located in each state.

 [Map: There is a USGS Water Science Center office in each State.] Washington Oregon California Idaho Nevada Montana Wyoming Utah Colorado Arizona New Mexico North Dakota South Dakota Nebraska Kansas Oklahoma Texas Minnesota Iowa Missouri Arkansas Louisiana Wisconsin Illinois Mississippi Michigan Indiana Ohio Kentucky Tennessee Alabama Pennsylvania West Virginia Georgia Florida Caribbean Alaska Hawaii and Pacific Islands New York Vermont New Hampshire Maine Massachusetts South Carolina North Carolina Rhode Island Virginia Connecticut New Jersey Maryland-Delaware-D.C.
 [image: beaker]

National Field Manual for the Collection of Water-Quality Data (TWRI Book 9)

Chapter A5. Processing of Water Samples (Version 2.2, with updates through 2/2009) [815 KB PDF]

Chapter 5, Version 2.2: Comments, updates, and replacement pages have been added to the pdf file. (To print this file, select Print from the File Menu, and select Document and Markups under the Comments and Forms Heading.) Information in the Comment boxes will be displayed when the file is printed.

These sections of Version 2.2 must be accessed separately:

Section 5.2.1.A -- Capsule-and Disk-Filter Procedure (dated 3/21/2016) [311 KB PDF]
Section 5.3.2 -- Instructions for Field Use of Spike Solutions for Organic-Analyte Samples (dated 6/2009) [103 KB PDF]
Section 5.6.1.F -- Wastewater, Pharmaceutical, and Antibiotic Compounds (dated 4/2003) [985 KB PDF]
Section 5.6.4.A -- Arsenic Speciation, Version 2.0 (dated 8/2012) [2.52MB PDF]
Section 5.6.4.B -- Low-level Mercury (dated 10/04) [545KB PDF]

The following guidance will replace section 5.2.2.B of chapter 5, version 2.2, when the revision of chapter 5 has been completed; see the August 15, 2014, post in 5 for clarification.

Section 5.2.2.B -- Syringe-Filter Procedure for Processing Samples for Analysis of Organic Compounds by DAI LC-MS/MS (dated 8/2014) [489 KB PDF].

This report is in pdf format. Download a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader for free.


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 groundwater resources. This chapter addresses methods to be used in processing water samples to be analyzed for inorganic and organic chemical substances, including the bottling of composite, pumped, and bailed samples and subsamples; sample filtration; solid-phase extraction for pesticide analyses; sample preservation; and sample handling and shipping.

Sections of Chapter A5: Processing of Water Samples

Cover/Title Page

Back of Title Page




Purpose and scope

Requirements and recommendations

Field manual review and revision


5.0 General information

5.1 Raw samples

5.2 Filtered samples

5.2.2.B, "Capsule-filter procedure for processing samples for analysis of organonitrogen herbidcides," has been deleted, archived, and replaced with "Syringe-filter procedure for processing samples for analysis of organic compounds by DAI LC-MS/MS."

5.3 Solid-phase extraction of pesticides

5.4 Sample preservation

5.5 Handling and shipping of samples

5.6 Summary of sample-collection and sample-processing procedures for specific analytes

*Section 5.6.1.C, Phenols, has been revised in this section to create version 2.1 of chap. A5.
*A section has been added. Section 5.6.1.F, "Wastewater, Pharmaceutical,and Antibiotic Compounds"
*A section has been added. Section 5.6.4.A, "Arsenic Speciation"
*A section has been added. Section 5.6.4.B, "Low-level Mercury"

Conversion factors, selected terms, abbreviations, and chemical symbols and formulas

Selected references


Appendix A5-A. Sample-designation codes and a summary of field-processing requirements for analyses of organic compounds in water

Appendix A5-B. Sample-designation codes and a summary of field-processing requirements for analyses of inorganic constituents in water

Appendix A5-C. Sample-designation codes and a summary of field-processing requirements for analyses of stable isotopes and radiochemicals in water

Appendix A5-D. Procedures for processing samples for analysis of dissolved and suspended organic carbon using a silver filter and gas-pressurized filtration apparatus (Note: Appendix A5-D has been added to Chapter A5, Version 2 (4/02) and contains the text for the Version 1 section 5.2.2.C.)

 [Back] Return to Field Manual Table of Contents

Chapter A5 Archives

USGS Home Water Climate and Land Use Change Core Science Systems Ecosystems Energy and Minerals Environmental Health Natural Hazards

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: USGS Office of Water Quality
Page Last Modified: Wednesday, 28-Dec-2016 18:50:55 EST