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Statistical Evaluation of the Influence of Flow Conditions and Sampling Techniques on Water Quality Data

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The purpose of this study is to statistically evaluate the influence of various sampling methodologies and flow conditions on the quality and comparability of total phosphorus concentration data collected over the course of 27 months at the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) S-65E structure. The data was obtained from the following sampling methodologies: U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) (Reston, Virginia) equal width increment spatially composite grab samples, USGS replicate samples, SFWMD grab samples, and SFWMD autosampler samples. Both significant and insignificant differences were reported from these comparisons. Parametric and nonparametric standard statistical tests for significance were carried out to evaluate the differences between the data. To avoid invalid conclusions of insignificant differences, we conducted tests for equivalence of the means and variances. The results from the data analysis revealed that both flow conditions and sampling methodology affected the water quality data.

Keywords: Wilcoxon rank sum test; equivalence; flow conditions; free surface; natural streams; representative; sampling; t-test; total phosphorus; variance; water quality

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2007-02-01

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    Water Environment Research� (WER�) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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