Baseline Sampling Guidelines

Recommended Readings/References - Ground/Surface Water Sampling Guidelines

ASTM International.  (2001)  Standard Guide for Sampling Ground-Water Monitoring Wells, D 4448-01, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, 17 pgs.

ASTM International.  (1996)  Standard Guide for Planning and Preparing for a Groundwater Sampling Event, D 5903-96, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, 4 pgs.

ASTM International.  (1997)  Standard Guide for Documenting a Ground-Water Sampling Event, D 6089-97, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, 3 pgs.

ASTM International.  (1999)  Standard Guide for Purging Methods for Wells Used for Ground-Water Quality Investigations, D 6452-99, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, 6 pgs.

Nielsen, D. M. and G. L. Nielsen.  (2006)  The Essential Handbook of Ground-Water Sampling, CRC Press, Boca Raton, 309 pgs.

PA Department of Environmental Protection.  (2001)  Groundwater Monitoring Guidance Manual, Chapter 6: Groundwater Sampling Techniques, PADEP, Harrisburg, 77 pgs.

U.S. Geological Survey.  (2011)  Water-Quality Sampling by the U.S. Geological Survey: Standard Protocols and Procedures, Fact Sheet 2010-3121, U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Washington, D.C., 2 pgs.,

U.S. Geological Survey.  (variously dated)  National Field Manual for the Collection of Water-Quality Data: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques of Water-Resources Investigations, Book 9, Chapters A1-A9,

Ward, J. R. and C. A. Harr.  (1990)  Methods for collection and processing of surface-water and bed-material samples for physical and chemical analyses, Open-File Report 90-140, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, 79 pgs.,

Proper water quality purging (when applicable) and sampling procedures and their documentation are just as critical as any other baseline component.  As the saying goes, "garbage in, garbage out."  In other words, if the sample is not properly collected to begin with, it doesn't make a difference what analytes are tested for or how accurate a laboratory's results/documentation are.

Guidelines also change depending on the source being tested.  For example, sampling a spring can be fairly straightforward.  The spring's emergence to the ground surface is identified and appropriate tubing is inserted into the seep, allowing gravity flow to flush out any induced turbidity.  Afterwards, samples are collected from the tubing.  On the contrary, lake sampling is a more complex process that requires careful planning by an environmental professional with appropriate credentials.  Stream confluences, spatial variability, depth-dependent variability, precipitation events and seasonal changes all need to be taken into consideration when sampling a still water-body.

Water wells, springs, ponds/lakes and streams all have specific considerations for purging and/or sampling.  Please follow the links below for additional information on their purging and sampling protocols.