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ITRC Passive Diffusion Bag Samplers for Volatile Organic Compounds in Ground Water
Sponsored by: Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council
Original Time/Date of Presentation: September 25, 2003, 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM, EDT (15:00-17:00 GMT)
Presentation Overview: Passive diffusion bag (PDB) samplers are a simple and inexpensive way to sample groundwater monitoring wells for a variety of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). A typical PDB sampler consists of low-density polyethylene lay-flat tubing filled with distilled, deionized water and heat-sealed at both ends. The bags are suspended by a weighted line at the target horizon in monitoring wells and allowed to equilibrate with the surrounding water. Retrieved after the equilibration period (typically two weeks), the enclosed water is immediately transferred to appropriate sample containers for analysis. Field tests show good correlation between samples obtained with PDB samplers and samples obtained using traditional methods. Currently, the samplers are recommended only for long-term groundwater monitoring of VOCs at well-characterized sites. The number of sites where they can be appropriately deployed is large, and the associated cost savings over traditional methods are significant.

This training summarizes major points of the U.S. Geological Survey document User’s Guide for Polyethylene-Based Passive Diffusion Bag Samplers to Obtain Volatile Organic Compound Concentrations in Wells (DSP-1, 2001), developed in cooperation with ITRC’s Diffusion Sampler Team, and discusses the technical and regulatory considerations associated with deployment of PDB samplers.
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