Separate experiments by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Illinois State Water Survey Central Analytical Laboratory (CAL) independently assessed the stability of hydrogen ion and specific conductance in filtered wet-deposition samples stored at ambient temperatures. The USGS experiment represented a test of sample stability under a diverse range of conditions, whereas the CAL experiment was a controlled test of sample stability. In the experiment by the USGS, a statistically significant (?? = 0.05) relation between [H+] and time was found for the composited filtered, natural, wet-deposition solution when all reported values are included in the analysis. However, if two outlying pH values most likely representing measurement error are excluded from the analysis, the change in [H+] over time was not statistically significant. In the experiment by the CAL, randomly selected samples were reanalyzed between July 1984 and February 1991. The original analysis and reanalysis pairs revealed that [H+] differences, although very small, were statistically different from zero, whereas specific-conductance differences were not. Nevertheless, the results of the CAL reanalysis project indicate there appears to be no consistent, chemically significant degradation in sample integrity with regard to [H+] and specific conductance while samples are stored at room temperature at the CAL. Based on the results of the CAL and USGS studies, short-term (45-60 day) stability of [H+] and specific conductance in natural filtered wet-deposition samples that are shipped and stored unchilled at ambient temperatures was satisfactory.
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The stability of hydrogen ion and specific conductance in filtered wet-deposition samples stored at ambient temperatures