sampling instructions

Sampling Instructions





























If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the lab at (630) 778-1200.



Method 5035:  Field Preservation, Collection and Handling Instructions for Vials




• 2 sodium bisulfate preserved, pre-weighed vials for low level analysis.  These vials will also contain a small magnetic stir bar.

• 1 methanol preserved, pre-weighed vial for medium-high level analysis

• 1 non-preserved container for percent total solids determination

• Terra Core® sampler for collecting samples
































Sample Acceptance Policy


The regulations guiding laboratory certification requires that our laboratory have a written sample acceptance policy available to sample collectors. Exceptions will be noted on the chain of custody and in the Analytical Report.


The sample collector must document the following information on the Chain of Custody:

• Your company’s name, address, phone, fax number and e-mail address.

• Identity of person receiving report

• Sampler or collector’s name

• Project identity / location

• Date / time of sample collection

• Sample identification, description, or location

• Matrix type

• Analyses required or reference to quote/order detailing required analyses

• Signatures of persons involved in the chain of possession, including collector’s

• Comments / special instructions


Laboratory personnel must document the following on the Chain of Custody:

• Condition of sample shipper and containers upon receipt

• Preservation type

• Temperature of cooler upon receipt

• Date and time of sample receipt

• Signatures of persons involved in the chain of possession, including receiving personnel

• Lab sample ID number


Sample bottles provided by the laboratory are pre-labeled with water resistant labels that are color coded to indicate the type of preservative present in the container.













Sample bottles need to be labeled using indelible ink.  Adequate sample volume must be provided for the analyses requested.  The COC must document the use of preservation and sample containers as required by the approved test methods.  If preserved bottles have been obtained from the laboratory the “Preserved in Field” box should be checked.


Analyses having “short” holding times, must be delivered to the laboratory in a manner that provides adequate lead time to meet the holding time.




1. Have ready a 40ml glass VOA vial containing the appropriate preservative. With the plunger seated in the handle, push the Terra Core® into freshly exposed soil until the sample chamber is filled.  A filled chamber will deliver approximately 5 grams of soil.


2.  Wipe all soil or debris from the outside of the Terra Core® sampler. The soil plug should be flush with the mouth of the sampler. Remove any excess soil that extends beyond the mouth of the sampler.


3.  Rotate the plunger that was seated in the handle top 90° until it is aligned with the slots in the body.  Place the mouth of the sampler into the 40ml VOA vial containing the appropriate preservative and extrude the sample by pushing the plunger down. Quickly place the lid back on the 40ml VOA vial.


Note:  When capping the 40ml VOA vial, be sure to remove any soil or debris from the top and/or threads of the vial.


4.   Repeat process for each additional vial.


5.  A single syringe can be used to collect sample aliquots for each of the three vials.  Mark each sample container with your sample identification.  Do not add any additional labels or tape to the pre-tared vials. Store samples at 4oC.  The holding time for VOC analysis is two weeks.


6.  A fourth container needs to be submitted to the laboratory for percent total solids determination. Fill the container provided to capacity. If extractable organic analyses, i.e., semi-volatiles, PNAs, or pesticides/PCBs will be performed, the fourth container should be an 8-oz. wide-mouth glass jar.  (A 4-oz. jar would also be acceptable.)


Red = Nitric Acid

Yellow = Sulfuric Acid

Light Blue = Sodium Hydroxide

Deep Blue = Hydrochloric Acid

Teal = No Treat (No preservative)

• The sampling containers provided to you may contain small amounts of required preservative.  The preservatives in common use are:  1 + 1 sulfuric acid, 1 + 2.5 nitric acid, 1 + 1 hydrochloric acid, and sodium hydroxide pellets.  These preservatives are strong acids and bases, and can cause burns.  Use caution at all times.  Please refer to the Material Safety Data Sheets for additional information.  (Note: 1 + 2.5 translates to 1 part acid to 2.5 parts deionized water).


• Do not rinse the sample containers prior to use.


• Fill plastic and glass containers to approximately one inch from the top and cap tightly.


• Aqueous Samples Requiring Volatile Analysis:  Fill volatile vials full (reverse meniscus) and carefully slide the septum onto the vial.  Screw on the cap and check the vial for air bubbles.  A properly filled vial will contain no air bubbles.


• Soil Samples:  4 oz. jars are used for the collection of soil samples. Special procedures and sampling materials are required for the collection of volatile samples.


• The temperature within the cooler must be maintained at 4oC during transit to the laboratory.  Please ensure that appropriate quantities of ice and/or ice packs are enclosed within the cooler to maintain this temperature.


• Please complete the enclosed chain of custody.  This is an integral component of documentation supporting any analysis performed for regulatory compliance.


• Seal the cooler with the enclosed custody seal.  The custody seal demonstrates to laboratory personnel the maintenance of sample integrity during sample transportation to the laboratory.


• Although each sampling event is unique, remember to get as representative of a sample as possible.  This might mean running the water for two minutes; mixing the sample prior to filling the containers; etc.

+1 (630) 778-1200

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