automated water sampling
Application

Automatic Water Sampling

What is automatic water sampling Automatic sampling uses instrumentation to monitor site conditions and perform sample collection without the constant presence of a technician. With automatic equipment, a technician can set up the system days or weeks before a sample event occurs and work elsewhere until it’s time to collect samples.

What is automatic water sampling

Automatic sampling uses instrumentation to monitor site conditions and perform sample collection without the constant presence of a technician. With automatic equipment, a technician can set up the system days or weeks before a sample event occurs and work elsewhere until it’s time to collect samples. When that happens, the equipment activates, and collects the sample per advance programming. Built-in systems store sample collection data which may then be used for compliance records or detailed analysis. The information can be quickly forwarded for analysis via one of numerous telemetry options or a technician can return to the site and retrieve the samples and data.

The benefits of automated water sampling 

Automatic sampling reduces labor cost and convenience. With automatic instruments, technicians will make fewer trips and often spend considerably less time on-site. This increases the number of sites that can be serviced in a given time period, thereby increasing productivity and reducing costs. Safer working conditions are also likely with automatic equipment. Technicians can wait to retrieve samples until storms have passed. Risk of device failure is always possible (e.g. power failure, programming error, flood damage). Training technicians in best-practices of installation, operation, and maintenance helps to assure automatic systems perform as intended. Despite increased equipment cost, reduced labor costs throughout the project provide timely cost recovery.

Program Overview

Complete details of federal programs and their requirements are at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s website

Industrial Run-off

 According to Teledyne Isco this program regulates stormwater run-off from industrial facilities with activities identified in 40 CFR 122.26(b) (14) (i) through (ix) and (xi) Code of Federal Regulations.  These facilities must sample run-off from storms having a rain accumulation of more than 0.1 inch – having occurred after a 72 hour dry period. Industries are typically required to sample during the first thirty minutes of discharge and take flow-weighted composite samples for the first three hours of discharge. The samples are then tested for conventional, as well as toxic pollutants reasonably expected to be present. NPDES also requires that these facilities develop and implement a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP).

Construction Site Run-off

According to Teledyne Isco under federal regulations construction is considered an industrial activity. Construction sites where one acre or more is disturbed are subject to regulation. These sites also need an SWPPP. The federal NPDES program does not require regular sampling of such run-off, however some states may.

Municipal Run-off

According to Teledyne Isco NPDES also regulates municipalities that own storm sewer systems.  These systems discharge into surface waters and contribute to pollutant loading. Consequently, NPDES requires municipalities to develop and implement a stormwater management plan.  The plan must provide effective controls in six areas:

• Public education

• Public involvement

• Construction site enforcement

• Post-construction maintenance

• Elimination of illicit discharges and connections

• Pollution prevention practices at municipally-owned facilities

Continual sampling of the storm sewer system and screening of potential polluters is necessary to monitor program effectiveness.

TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load)

According to Teledyne Isco TMDL is a US federally mandated program that takes into account the maximum amount of a pollutant that a body of water can receive while still meeting water quality standards. The maximum pollutant value then can be used to set limits to all wastewater and stormwater run-off discharged into that water body. The goal of the TMDL program is to improve the water quality of receiving waters for the improvement of public health. 

Water Quality Assessments

According to Teledyne Isco in some cases, a water quality assessment may be required to obtain a discharge permit under NPDES. Other reasons to assess water quality include public complaints and third-party litigation.  Private environmental organizations may invest their own time and money to monitor water quality. Whatever the reason, such assessments can provide valuable data regarding the current health of an aquatic ecosystem.

State and Local Water Quality

According to Teledyne Isco the programs mentioned are based on federal law. Remember that states do have their own programs – sometimes with more stringent regulations than those of the EPA. Therefore, permit conditions can vary from state to state.

Manual Sampling

According to Teledyne Isco when filling a sample container by hand, the container type and volume collected are dependent on the constituents to be tested. Refer to 40 CFR 126 (Code of Federal Regulations) for guidance on container types, minimum volumes, and preservatives for various pollutants. Typically, when filling a bottle from a stream, you should:

• Sample at the vertical and horizontal centers of the channel.

• Face the mouth of the bottle upstream.

• Avoid floating debris.

• Avoid stirring bottom sediment. If bottom sediment is disturbed,

move upstream.

• Label containers prior to collection to reduce the risk of sample mix-ups.

Manual sampling can be used for any sampling event. However, it is best suited for base flow sampling during dry weather or as a backup for automatic sampling.

Automatic Water Sampling Equipment

Eco-Rental Solutions rents a wide range of bottle configurations, plug-in flow and parameter monitoring – and ISCO reliability

SamplerThe 6712 Portable Sampler features a vacuum-formed ABS plastic shell to withstand exposure and abuse. Its tapered design and trim 20-inch (50.8 cm) diameter result in easy manhole installation and removal. Large, comfortable handles make transporting safe and convenient – even when wearing gloves. The NEMA 4X, 6 (IP67) enclosure is submersible, watertight, and dust-tight. Plug-in 700 Series Modules and the SDI-12 interface make it easy to add flow and parameter monitoring to your 6712-based system