From 1952 to 1988, about 140 curies of strontium-90 were discharged in liquid waste to disposal ponds and wells at the INEL (Idaho National Engineering Laboratory). Water from four wells was sampled as part of the U.S. Geological Survey's quality-assurance program to evaluate the effects of filtration and preservation methods on strontium-90 concentrations in ground water at the INEL. Water from each well was filtered through eithera 0.45- or a 0.1-micrometer membrane filter; unfiltered samples also were collected. Two sets of filtered and two sets of unfiltered water samples were collected at each well. One of the two sets of water samples was field acidified. Strontium-90 concentrations ranged from below the reporting level to 52 ?? 4 picocuries per liter. Descriptive statistics were used to determine reproducibility of the analytical results for strontium-90 concentrations in water from each well. Comparisons were made with unfiltered, acidified samples at each well. Analytical results for strontium-90 concentrations in water from well 88 were not in statistical agreement between the unfiltered, acidified sample and the filtered (0.45 micrometer), acidified sample. The strontium-90 concentration for water from well 88 was less than the reporting level. For water from wells with strontium-90 concentrations at or above the reporting level, 94 percent or more of the strontium-90 is in true solution or in colloidal particles smaller than 0.1 micrometer. These results suggest that changes in filtration and preservation methods used for sample collection do not significantly affect reproducibility of strontium-90 analyses in ground water at the INEL.
Additional publication details
Comparison of the effects of filtration and preservation methods on analyses for strontium-90 in ground water