Drainage water diverted from a farm pasture, which was heavily loaded with manure, was monitored during a rain event. Concurrent anion and cation determinations at intervals of 10 min could be achieved with a new capillary electrophoresis system employing dual injection at opposite ends of the separation capillary. The flow injection approach enabled automation of the sampling process. Interruption of the separation voltage was not necessary. Contactless conductivity detection with an electrolyte solution optimized for the purpose allowed the facile simultaneous detection of the inorganic ions Cl−, NO3−, SO42−, HPO42−, NO2−, NH4+, K+, Ca2+, Na+ and Mg2+ and the acquisition of temporal concentration profiles of these species. The detection limits achieved were between 20 and 200 µg l−1 for all ions and the repeatability of peak areas and peak heights was better than 1%. The quantitative results were verified by analysing individual samples later in the laboratory with photometry and ion chromatography and the average deviations were found to be between 4 and 12%. This contribution presents a further step in the development of capillary electrophoresis towards a fully automated, low maintenance field method.
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