Tests were conducted to determine whether changes that may occur in the chemical characteristics of stored oligotrophic waters collected on 15 sites in northeastern Minnesota were affected by chloroforming. Chloroform was added on site to one of each pair of samples to stabilize the organic content of the water by preventing biological decomposition. The samples were subsequently stored at 25 deg.C, and pH and specific conductivity were measured at intervals for a period of 13 months at which time nine additional chemical parameters (total dissolved solids, total alkalinity, chloride, sulfate, silica, calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium) were measured.pH increased and specific conductivity decreased. Average changes occurring in time from the original levels were not influenced by treatment, and first differed significantly (P<0.05, paired t test) at 14 days for pH and 8.5 months for specific conductivity. Total dissolved solids and sulfate were significantly (P<0.01 and <0.05, respectively) larger in treated than untreated samples after 13 months storage while the reverse was true for calcium (P<0.05). Total alkalinity, chloride, silica, and magnesium, however, did not differ significantly (P>0.05). Sodium and potassium levels were too low to provide meaningful comparisons. It was concluded that chloroform may be advantageous in preserving oligothrophic waters with respect to total dissolved solids, sulfate and calcium.
Additional publication details
Chemical stability of preserved oligotrophic water samples
Proceedings of the North Dakota Academy of Science