Passive Diffusion Groundwater Sampling for Compounds Beyond VOCs


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Passive Diffusion Groundwater Sampling for Compounds Beyond VOCs

By: Colton Creal

Passive diffusion bag (PDB) sampling has been shown to be a cost-effective alternative to standard (or low-flow) purge and sample techniques for sampling volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in groundwater from monitor wells.  Until recently, the use of PBD sampling was limited to non-polar VOCs because large or polar molecules and ions cannot pass through the polyethylene membrane into the sampling bag. With relatively recent advances, this is changing, and passive diffusion sampling can now be used for an expanded list of compounds including major cations and anions, trace metals, VOCs, 1,4-dioxane, and PFAS.  See for example the EON Products, Inc. Dual Membrane sampler®. Multiple publications are available that summarize the many available options and pros and cons of passive sampling, including those from the U.S. Geological Survey and ITRC.  For help in determining if PDB sampling makes sense for you monitoring needs, please contact Colton_Creal@Cox-Colvin.com


Colton Creal is a Staff Scientist with Cox-Colvin & Associates, Inc. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Geology from Ohio University. He has been with Cox-Colvin since earning his degree in 2015. Mr. Creal is highly experienced in the collection and analysis of environmental data of all types, and has personally experienced the benefits of proper well maintenance.