Because a water sample collected from a well is an integration of water from different depths along the well screen, measured concentrations can be biased if analyte concentrations are not uniform along the length of the well screen. The resulting concentration in the sample, therefore, is a function of variations in well-screen inflow rate and analyte concentration with depth. A multiport sampler with seven short screened intervals was designed and used to investigate small-scale vertical variations in water chemistry and aquifer hydraulic conductivity in ground water contaminated by leaded gasoline at Galloway Township, Atlantic County, New Jersey. The multiport samplers were used to collect independent samples from seven intervals within the screened zone that were flow-rate weighted and integrated to simulate a 5-foot-long, 2.375-inch- outside-diameter conventional wire-wound screen. The integration of the results of analyses of samples collected from two multiport samplers showed that a conventional 5-foot-long well screen would integrate contaminant concentrations over its length and resulted in an apparent contaminant concentration that was a little as 28 percent of the maximum concentration observed in the multiport sampler.
Additional publication details
Effects of small-scale vertical variations in well-screen inflow rates and concentrations of organic compounds on the collection of representative ground-water-quality samples