Environmental Remediation Program fact sheet
Division of Environmental Quality Director: Ed Galbraith

This fact sheet is intended for use by participants in the Brownfields/Voluntary Cleanup Program (BVCP). The following soil and groundwater sampling procedures are not intended to serve as a comprehensive standard operating procedure, but rather a list of guidelines to address common sample collection errors.

Soil Sampling

Headspace Readings (Field screening using a photoionization detector [PID])
If volatile organic compound (VOC) samples are to be collected, soil boring cores should be exposed to the atmosphere for a minimal amount of time. Using qualitative and quantitative field screening techniques, determine where along the soil column samples for laboratory analysis are to be obtained and collect them using EPA Method 5035. If headspace readings are to be obtained afterward, gather interval samples and place in a plastic bag or similar container. Prior to analysis, these interval samples should be manually shaken or agitated for 15 to 20 seconds. The agitation period should be consistent for all samples collected at the sample site. In cold weather, the samples should be placed in a heated vehicle or building and raised to room temperature (65-70 degrees Fahrenheit) prior to taking a reading. Please note that samples for VOC laboratory analysis should not be collected from the agitated samples.

SW-846 Method 5035
All soil samples to be analyzed for VOCs must be collected in accordance with SW-846 Method 5035. Soil samples should either be immediately cooled to 4 ± 2°C and delivered to the analyzing laboratory within 48 hours, or frozen within the 48-hour period if delivery within that time period is not possible. If chemical preservation is used, methanol is recommended as the preservative, as there are reports that the use of trisodium phosphate (TSP) can cause surrogate interference. Method 5035 should be referred to if chemical preservation is to be involved.

Groundwater Sampling

For more information contact:
573-526-4817 fax

Additional Information:
EPA Low Flow Groundwater Sampling Procedures
ITRC Diffusion/Passing Sampler Documents
Quality Assurance Project Plan and Addendum