During March-April 2002, the U.S. Geological Survey, Earth Tech, and EA Engineering, Science, and Technology, Inc., in cooperation with the Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence, tested diffusion samplers at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Samplers were deployed in three wells at the Main Base and two wells at Marianas Bonins (MARBO) Annex as potential ground-water monitoring alternatives. Prior to sampler deployment, the wells were tested using a borehole flowmeter to characterize vertical flow within each well. Three types of diffusion samplers were tested: passive diffusion bag (PDB) samplers, dialysis samplers, and nylon-screen samplers. The primary volatile organic compounds (VOCs) tested in ground water at Andersen Air Force Base were trichloroethene and tetrachloroethene. In most comparisons, trichloroethene and tetrachloroethene concentrations in PDB samples closely matched concentrations in pumped samples. Exceptions were in wells where the pumping or ambient flow produced vertical translocation of water in a chemically stratified aquifer. In these wells, PDB samplers probably would be a viable alternative sampling method if they were placed at appropriate depths. In the remaining three test wells, the trichloroethene or tetrachloroethene concentrations obtained with the diffusion samplers closely matched the result from pumped sampling.
Chloride concentrations in nylon-screen samplers were compared with chloride concentrations in dialysis and pumped samples to test inorganic-solute diffusion into the samplers across a range of concentrations. The test showed that the results from nylon-screen samplers might have underestimated chloride concentrations at depths with elevated chloride concentrations. The reason for the discrepancy in this investigation is unknown, but may be related to nylon-screen-mesh size, which was smaller than that used in previous investigations.