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Peristaltic Pump Autosamplers for Solids Measurement in Stormwater Runoff

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Regulatory agencies approve automatic samplers containing peristaltic pumps as a sample collection method for stormwater characterization and for treatment-device evaluation. Autosampler performance, as discussed in the limited available literature, can vary across the entire particle size range typically found in stormwater from different source areas and outfalls—reasonably consistent performance for particle sizes <250 μm, but much less consistency for particles >250 μm. Therefore, a series of experiments was undertaken to quantify the upper range of consistent particle capture that may occur with sampling stormwater suspended sediment and particulate-bound pollutants. These experiments, based on triplicate sampling at each experimental condition, found that peristaltic pump autosamplers commonly used in stormwater monitoring could not repeatedly and effectively capture particles >250 μm from a simulated stormwater whose particles have a specific gravity of 2.65. It was expected that the effective size for autosamplers would be correspondingly larger for particles having smaller specific gravities. The height of the sampler had no influence on particle recovery up to a height of 2.5 m, with slightly decreasing recoveries of large particles occurring at greater heights, as a result of reduced sampler intake velocity. Therefore, to characterize the solids across the entire size range and specific gravities that may occur in stormwater runoff, autosamplers should be deployed in conjunction with bedload and floatables sampling.

Keywords: analysis; autosamplers; sampling; solids sampling; stormwater

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: February 1, 2009

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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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