Sample Handling

Sample Handling of Environmental Samples

In order to obtain data on ion concentration in the river water, it is necessary to collect samples of the water.  Careful and thorough sample handling is essential to ensure accurate results.  The sample handling can be broken into three main parts; collection, processing, and storage.

In the water analysis investigation sample collection is typically conducted at the Scioto and Olentangy rivers, along with some connecting tributaries.  Samples are collected in plastic bottles that were rinsed with river water at the collection site.  It is important that no foreign particles from standing ground are collected with the sample.  To these ends, samples are taken upstream of the standing position while the water bottles faced downstream.  At the time of collection, the GPS coordinates of the sample are recorded.  Additionally, photographs are taken of the collection area so that the context of the local environment can be considered.

Sample processing occurred after samples are collected.  In order for samples to be effectively analyzed via ion chromatography, no sediments may exist in them.  Measurement, such as determination of sample pH, by contaminants.  To these ends, samples are filtered.  The end result is the sample water minus any sediments too large to pass through the filter paper.  After this samples are preserved to ensure accurate analysis through sample storage.  Post-filtration the samples are stored in air-tight polyethylene bottles in a laboratory refrigerator.

Content on this web page authored by Wei Quan How, Awil Jama, Qian Xiong & Jon Studer

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