Groundwater sampling can get a bit routine (and by routine, I mean mind-numbing).? I remember many days sitting on my overturned 5-gallon plastic bucket, taking pH after pH reading, trying not to shrivel up like an earthworm on concrete in the blistering heat.

Don?t get me wrong, I really enjoy being out in the great outdoors, but often, groundwater sampling isn?t as Sierra-Club-exciting as the Average Joe might think. Sometimes groundwater sampling gets you as far into the outdoors as a gas station?s asphalt parking lot or perhaps a median of a highway. I mean, seriously, just how close are you to nature if you are sampling in a multi-million dollar neighborhood, sitting helplessly on the edge of Peter Porsche’s manicured lawn watching folks drink beer while swimming in their backyard pool? There you sit on your make-shift Lazy Bucket wondering if Peter ever gets out of his bathrobe (or leaves the house for that matter) while you suck water out of a hole in the ground.

And oh?the fashion!? Standing in a median wondering if you will get struck by a truck, bus, or the random couch or mattress that flies from the bed of a pickup almost makes you not care that you look like one of the Village People in your fluorescent orange vest.? Almost.?

About the only thought that probably enters your head besides the fact that you really want to be in a pool with a beer or wearing something not made from mesh, is whether there might be a better way to sample groundwater.? So is there?

Let?s take a look at one alternative to low flow sampling ? The HydraSleeve.

How do HydraSleeves work?

Using HydraSleeves involves a simple, three-step operation. The?disposable HydraSleeve captures a “core” of water from any discrete interval in the screened portion of a monitoring well with no change in water level and minimal disturbance to the water column.?The HydraSleeve is sealed except during sample collection, and then it re-seals itself to ensure that a formation quality sample is recovered.

Benefits of the HydraSleeve:

  • You can sample for all compounds (not just VOCs)
  • You can sample a well in less than 15 minutes
  • You can cut costs by 50% to 80%
  • You can reduce purge water to a big fat goose egg

Additional benefits of the HydraSleeve can be found here:

Downside of the HydraSleeve:

Although HydraSleeves have been used in all 50 states, it seems that regulators haven?t quite jumped on the HydraSleeve Choo-Choo Train.?Only five states approve their use, and 16 others accept their use on a case-by-case basis.

There is an overview video for the HydraSleeve available if you are interested…and don?t mind music that should only be heard in cheesy First Aid/CPR refresher videos or an elevator.

Do you have experience sampling with a HydraSleeve?? Do you think it?s a good alternative to low flow groundwater sampling?? Tell us about your experience!

Written by: Karen Baer

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