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Issue 7, 2008
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A low-tech, low-cost passive sampler for the long-term monitoring of phosphate loads in rivers and streams

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Abstract

The concentration of dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP) in rivers can change intermittently within minutes depending on the weather and water discharge (Q), or activities in the watershed. Accordingly, accurate estimation of the annual DRP load requires frequent sampling or even continuous monitoring, which is laborious and cost-intensive. We present the design and laboratory evaluation of a new, robust, low-cost, low-tech device based on passive samplers (P-traps). The traps use Fe-(oxy)hydroxide coated quartz sand as an adsorbent enclosed in a vertical grid of individual cells separated from the river water by filter membranes. They are inexpensive, easy to handle, resistant to repeated desiccation and immersion and exposable for several months. They permit estimation of discharge dependant time weighted average DRP concentrations (C–Q relationships) and annual P loads of rivers characterized by highly variable DRP concentrations with a relative accuracy of ± 3%.

Graphical abstract: A low-tech, low-cost passive sampler for the long-term monitoring of phosphate loads in rivers and streams

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Publication details

The article was received on 16 Apr 2008, accepted on 02 Jun 2008 and first published on 12 Jun 2008


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B806465B
Citation: J. Environ. Monit., 2008,10, 817-820
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    A low-tech, low-cost passive sampler for the long-term monitoring of phosphate loads in rivers and streams

    B. Müller, R. Stierli and R. Gächter, J. Environ. Monit., 2008, 10, 817
    DOI: 10.1039/B806465B

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