This is an automated sampler. It allows us to collect composite samples around the clock, without requiring a sampling technician to be present.
A composite sample is a collection of individual samples taken over 24 hours and then mixed together in proportion to the plan flows. Composite samples let us see what is happening with the water over a period of time.
The collection bucket is sitting in a refrigerator. All samples must be kept at 4ºC so the water chemistry doesn't change.
The wastewater laboratory not only collects samples for permit-related purposes, but also collects process control samples. These are necessary to monitor plant efficiency and check plant processes.
Grab samples are collected using many different sampling devices, some as simple as a bottle attached to a pole. Grab samples provide a snapshot of the water quality at one specific point in time. This process control sample is being collected to monitor for ammonia removal.
Some of the samples collected by laboratory staff come from manholes located throughout the collection system.
This sample is being taken to help monitor hydrogen sulfide which can cause collection system problems such as corrosion and odors.
We also collect river samples as a member of the South Platte Coalition for Urban River Evaluation. This group is focused on monitoring the health of the Urban South Platte River.
Member entities all along the river collect grab samples twice a month.
These samples are analyzed for a variety of constituents. Results are entered into a publicly accessible EPA database.