New Zealand guidelines for the collection of groundwater samples for chemical and isotopic analyses

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Rosen, M.R.; Cameron, S.G.; Taylor, C.B.; Reeves, R.R. 1999 New Zealand guidelines for the collection of groundwater samples for chemical and isotopic analyses. Lower Hutt: Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences. Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences science report 99/09 80 p.

Abstract: Chemical and isotopic analyses of groundwater are important tools for differentiating betwen the natural composition and human-induced contaminants of groundwater. A comprehensive suite of inorganic water chemical analyses is necessary to characterise waters. The geology of New Zealand is diverse, so it is impractical to characterise a ''typical'' groundwater chemical composition. Each aquifer system should be evaluated individually because the major dissolved species contain useful information about the pathways of water through the soil zone into the aquifer. Analyses of major ions such as chloride, nitrate, potassium and sulphate often give indication of septic systems and agricultural contamination. The minor ions, while most are not considered contaminants, are often indicators of human activity. Iron and manganese are good indicators of Eh potential, which is an important control on the mobility of many heavy metals. The inexpensive inorganic chemical analytical suite should be used as a guide to advisability of more expensive contaminant testing. The purpose of this manual is to provide consistent groundwater sampling guidelines for use throughout New Zealand. Sinton's (1998) guide to groundwater sampling techniques provided a sound basis for the accurate collection of groundwater samples. However Sinton did not address sampling materials and techniques for the collection of samples for ultra trace component analysis or the collection of environmental isotope samples. These important aspects of groundwater sampling have been included in this updated manual. (auth)