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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Short Communications

Improving the Accuracy of Sediment-Associated Constituent Concentrations in Whole Storm Water Samples by Wet-Sieving


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 36 No. 1, p. 226-232
    Received: Apr 12, 2006

    * Corresponding author(s): wrselbig@usgs.gov
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  1. William R. Selbig *a,
  2. Roger Bannermanb and
  3. George Bowmanc
  1. a U.S. Geological Survey, 8505 Research Way, Middleton, WI 53562
    b Wisconsin Dep. of Natural Resources, 101 S. Webster Street–FH/4, Madison, WI 53703
    c Wisconsin State Lab. of Hygiene, 2601 Agriculture Drive, Madison, WI 53718


Sand-sized particles (>63 μm) in whole storm water samples collected from urban runoff have the potential to produce data with substantial bias and/or poor precision both during sample splitting and laboratory analysis. New techniques were evaluated in an effort to overcome some of the limitations associated with sample splitting and analyzing whole storm water samples containing sand-sized particles. Wet-sieving separates sand-sized particles from a whole storm water sample. Once separated, both the sieved solids and the remaining aqueous (water suspension of particles less than 63 μm) samples were analyzed for total recoverable metals using a modification of USEPA Method 200.7. The modified version digests the entire sample, rather than an aliquot, of the sample. Using a total recoverable acid digestion on the entire contents of the sieved solid and aqueous samples improved the accuracy of the derived sediment-associated constituent concentrations. Concentration values of sieved solid and aqueous samples can later be summed to determine an event mean concentration.

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