An experiment in representative ground-water sampling for water- quality analysis

Water-Resources Investigations Report 88-4178




Obtaining a sample of groundwater that accurately represents the concentration of a chemical constituent in an aquifer is an important aspect of groundwater-quality studies. Varying aquifer and constituent properties may cause chemical constituents to move within selectively separate parts of the aquifer. An experiment was conducted in an agricultural region in south-central Kansas to address questions related to representative sample collection. Concentrations of selected constituents in samples taken from observation wells completed in the upper part of the aquifer were compared to concentrations in samples taken from irrigation wells to determine if there was a significant difference. Water in all wells sampled was a calcium bicarbonate type with more than 200 mg/L hardness and about 200 mg/L alkalinity. Sodium concentrations were also quite large (about 40 mg/L). There was a significant difference in the nitrite-plus-nitrate concentrations between samples from observation and irrigation wells. The median concentration of nitrite plus nitrate in water from observation wells was 5.7 mg/L compared to 3.4 mg/L in water from irrigation wells. The differences in concentrations of calcium, magnesium, and sodium (larger in water from irrigation wells) were significant at the 78% confidence level but not at the 97% confidence level. Concentrations of the herbicide, atrazine, were less than the detection limit of 0.1 micrograms/L in all but one well. (USGS)

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An experiment in representative ground-water sampling for water- quality analysis
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Water-Resources Investigations Report
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U.S. Geological Survey ; Copies can be purchased from U.S. Geological Survey Books and Open-File Reports,.,
iv, 12 p. :ill., map ;28 cm.