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4 Ways to Mess Up Stormwater Sampling

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Storm Water Drain

Storm Water DrainYour facility may require stormwater sampling as part of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).    If so, make sure your stormwater specialist knows what not to do.

One huge problem inspectors see is that stormwater samples don’t reflect what is actually running off-site.  This could be due to poor timing or inconsistent sampling location.   Either way, you don’t want to face fines for not being in compliance.

Here are 4 ways to mess up stormwater sampling

  1. Sampling At The Wrong Time. Stormwater sampling should take place when there is a discharge during a rain storm or snowmelt.  Sampling must be taken within 30 minutes of a measurable storm event.  Remember, storm events need to be at least 72 hours apart.
  2. Wearing Latex Gloves. Nitrile gloves are always recommended.   Some latex gloves can contain zinc particles, which will contaminate the samples.
  3. Using Non-Glass Bottles to Store Samples.  Glass bottles are easier to clean and remove traces of chemicals or residue.   So skip the plastic containers and opt for glass, or even silicone.  Don’t let residue ruin your samples.
  4. Keeping the sampling location “dirty”. Inspect the sampling area on a routine basis to make sure there is no trash or debris.  Don’t risk capturing more pollutants.

Take the Guesswork Out of Stormwater Sampling. Call an SRP Environmental Consultant at (866) 222-4972 or email us below. 

Source: Environmental Compliance Alert, November 15, 2017, Vol 25 No 570