Collecting Water Grab Samples in Field
(1) Water samples collected for the river and stream or the wetland program are analyzed for a variety of parameters which may vary from year to year depending on current program needs and resources.
(2) Using a sharpie, label each sample container with the date, time, and site number/name
(3) Record lab sample kit number on program-specific Data Sheet, if available.
(4) Collect water samples before stirring up the stream or wetland bottom, or collect samples upstream of agitated water. For rivers and streams, collect samples (choosing OPTION 1 or 2, below, as appropriate) while standing on edge of water or on a rock. If this is not possible, reach upstream as far as possible to avoid collecting stirred up water. For wetlands, collect samples (using OPTION 3, below) by canoeing or carefully wading into the wetland if possible.
(5) If sampling trace metals, wear disposable gloves.
(6) Avoid touching the inside or lip of the sample bottles or caps.
(7) OPTION 1 (recommended for hard-substrate and regular-flow streams) (a) Hold uncapped bottle upside down and submerse it. (b) Tip bottle upright and allow water to fill bottle. (c) Remove bottle from water and screw on cap.
(8) OPTION 2 (recommended for soft-sediment and low-flow streams) (a) Use large, clean container to collect water. (b) Rinse container in stream water three times. (c) Collect stream water. (d) Fill smaller containers with water from large container. To ensure even mixing of sample water, gently swirl water in large container each time before water is decanted into smaller container.
(9) OPTION 3 (wetlands) (a) Use a clean long-handled plastic dipper and wide-mouth plastic mixing jug to collect water from a standing position or from canoe. (b) Thoroughly rinse mixing jug and dipper three times with sample water. (c) Fill mixing jug using long-handled dipper to collect water from just below the surface. In well-mixed open water areas having sufficient depth, water may be collected by directly submersing the mixing jug. Avoid collecting floating organic material by carefully clearing an opening in any surface film using the closed end of the dipper. Replace cover of mixing jug and transport back to truck in upright position. (d) Fill smaller containers with water from mixing jug. To ensure even mixing of sample water, gently swirl water in mixing jug each time before water is decanted into smaller container.
(10) If sampling trace metals, dispose of gloves in regular garbage.
(11) Store and transport samples in cooler with ice.
(12) Complete lab chain of custody sheet.
(13) Drop off samples at lab at end of day or early the next morning (store samples in refrigerator overnight) with lab chain of custody sheet. If any parameters have a short (e.g. 24 hour) holding time, make sure to deliver the samples within that time frame.
D. Quality Control (1) At the beginning of each field season, all staff and field personnel who will collect water grab samples should have a training/refresher session to (re)familiarize themselves with the contents of this SOP. (2) Laboratory: quality control samples analyzed are specified in the applicable laboratory method and generally include duplicate, spiked, and blank samples.