Evaluation of selected information on splitting devices for water samples

Water-Resources Investigations Report 95-4141




Four devices for splitting water samples into representative aliquots are used by the U.S. Geological Survey's Water Resources Division. A thorough evaluation of these devices (14-liter churn, 8-liter churn, plastic cone, and Teflon cone) encompasses a wide variety of concerns, based on both chemical and physical considerations. This report surveys the existing data (as of April 1994) on cleaning efficiency and splitting capability of these devices and presents the data in a systematic framework for evaluation. From the existing data, some of these concerns are adequately or partially addressed, but the majority of concerns could not be addressed because of the lack of data. In general, the existing cleaning and transport protocols are adequate at the milligram per liter level, but the adequacy is largely unknown for trace elements and organic chemicals at lower concen- trations. The existing data indicate that better results are obtained when the splitters are cleaned in the laboratory rather than in the field. Two conclusions that can be reached on the splitting capability of solids are that more work must be done with all four devices to characterize and quantify their limitations and range of usefulness, and that the 14-liter churn (and by association, the 8-liter churn) is not useful in obtaining representative splits of sand-sized particles.

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Evaluation of selected information on splitting devices for water samples
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Water-Resources Investigations Report
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U.S. Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey ; For sale by the U.S. Geological Survey, Earth Science Information Center, Open-File Reports Section,
v, 103 p. :ill. ;28 cm.