Detailed vertical sampling is useful in aquifers where vertical mixing is limited and steep vertical gradients in chemical concentrations are expected. Samples can be collected at closely spaced vertical intervals from nested wells with short screened intervals. However, this approach may not be appropriate in all situations. An easy-to-construct and easy-to-install multiport sampling well to collect ground-water samples from closely spaced vertical intervals was developed and tested. The multiport sampling well was designed to sample ground water from surficial sand-and-gravel aquifers. The device consists of multiple stainless-steel tubes within a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) protective casing. The tubes protrude through the wall of the PVC casing at the desired sampling depths. A peristaltic pump is used to collect ground-water samples from the sampling ports. The difference in hydraulic head between any two sampling ports can be measured with a vacuum pump and a modified manometer. The usefulness and versatility of this multiport well design was demonstrated at an agricultural research site near Princeton, Minnesota where sampling ports were installed to a maximum depth of about 12 m below land surface. Tracer experiments were conducted using potassium bromide to document the degree to which short-circuiting occurred between sampling ports. Samples were successfully collected for analysis of major cations and anions, nutrients, selected herbicides, isotopes, dissolved gases, and chlorofluorcarbon concentrations.
Additional publication details
Multiport Well Design for Sampling of Ground Water at Closely Spaced Vertical Intervals