Negative Bias and Increased Variability in VOC Concentrations Using the HydraSleeve in Monitoring Wells

Authors: T. McHugh, P. Kulkarni, L. Beckley, C. Newell, M. Zumbro
Published: December 2015 in Ground Water Monitoring and Remediation.

Abstract

The HydraSleeve is a sampling device for collecting groundwater from the screened interval of a monitoring well without purging that uses a check valve to take in water over the first 3 to 5 feet of an upward pulling motion. If the check valve does not perform as expected, then the HydraSleeve has the potential to collect water from an incorrect depth interval, possibly above the screened interval of the well. We have evaluated volatile organic chemical (VOC) results from groundwater samples collected with the HydraSleeve sampler compared to other methods for sampling monitoring wells at three sites. At all three sites, lower VOC concentration results were observed for samples collected using the HydraSleeve. At two of these three sites, the low concentration sample results were most strongly associated with monitoring wells with more than 10 feet of water above the monitoring well-screened interval. At the site with the largest dataset, the median bias for samples collected with HydraSleeve was −20% (p< 0.001). At this site, a bias of −26% (p< 0.001) was observed for the subset of monitoring wells with greater than 10 feet of water above the screened interval compared to a bias of −7% (p= 0.21) for wells screened across the top of the water table. In addition to lower VOC concentrations, the monitoring records obtained using the HydraSleeve were more variable compared to monitoring records obtained using purge sampling methods, a characteristic that would make it more difficult to determine the long-term concentration trend in the well.