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Issue 10, 2011
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Improving suspended sediment measurements by automatic samplers

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Suspended solids either as total suspended solids (TSS) or suspended sediment concentration (SSC) is an integral particulate water quality parameter that is important in assessing particle-bound contaminants. At present, nearly all stormwater runoff quality monitoring is performed with automatic samplers in which the sampling intake is typically installed at the bottom of a storm sewer or channel. This method of sampling often results in a less accurate measurement of suspended sediment and associated pollutants due to the vertical variation in particle concentration caused by particle settling. In this study, the inaccuracies associated with sampling by conventional intakes for automatic samplers have been verified by testing with known suspended sediment concentrations and known particle sizes ranging from approximately 20 μm to 355 μm under various flow rates. Experimental results show that, for samples collected at a typical automatic sampler intake position, the ratio of sampled to feed suspended sediment concentration is up to 6600% without an intake strainer and up to 300% with a strainer. When the sampling intake is modified with multiple sampling tubes and fitted with a wing to provide lift (winged arm sampler intake), the accuracy of sampling improves substantially. With this modification, the differences between sampled and feed suspended sediment concentration were more consistent and the sampled to feed concentration ratio was accurate to within 10% for particle sizes up to 250 μm.

Graphical abstract: Improving suspended sediment measurements by automatic samplers

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Publication details

The article was received on 21 Mar 2011, accepted on 04 Aug 2011 and first published on 05 Sep 2011

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C1EM10258C
Citation: J. Environ. Monit., 2011,13, 2703-2709
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    Improving suspended sediment measurements by automatic samplers

    M. Gettel, J. S. Gulliver, M. Kayhanian, G. DeGroot, J. Brand, O. Mohseni and A. J. Erickson, J. Environ. Monit., 2011, 13, 2703
    DOI: 10.1039/C1EM10258C

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