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ASTM D6771-18

ASTM D6771-18

Standard Practice for Low-Flow Purging and Sampling for Wells and Devices Used for Ground-Water Quality Investigations

2018-09-28 /Active
Significance and Use:

5.1 Method Considerations—The objective of most groundwater sampling programs is to obtain samples that are similar in composition to that of the formation water near the well screen. The low-flow purging and sampling method uses the stabilization of indicator parameters to determine when the pump discharge is considered to represent a flow-weighted average of the formation water. Measurements of operational parameters are used to determine potential sampling bias (for example, artifactual turbidity and increased temperature) that may have been introduced by pumping operations and to ensure that the sample is representative of formation water. The low-flow purge rate minimizes lowering of the ambient groundwater level and thereby minimizes potential entrainment of blank-casing (and potentially stagnant) water above or below the screen into the screened-zone of the well. This sampling method assumes that the well has been properly designed and constructed as described in Practices D5092 and D6725, adequately developed as described in Guide D5521, and has received proper well maintenance and rehabilitation as described in Guide D5978 (see Note 1).

Note 1: This Standard is not intended to replace or supersede any regulatory requirements, standard operating procedure (SOP), quality assurance project plan (QAPP), ground water sampling and analysis plan (GWSAP) or site-specific regulatory permit requirements. The procedures described in this Standard may be used in conjunction with regulatory requirements, SOPs, QAPPs, GWSAPs or permits where allowed by the authority with jurisdiction.

5.2 Applicability—Low-flow purging and sampling may be used in a monitoring well that can be pumped at a constant low-flow rate without continuously increasing drawdown in the well (2). If a well cannot be purged without continuously increasing drawdown even at very low pumping rates (for example, 50 – 100 mL/min), the well should not be sampled using this sampling method as described in this standard; a passive sampling method, as described in Guide D7929, may be considered as an alternative.

5.3 Target Analytes—Low-flow purging and sampling can be used to collect samples for all categories of aqueous-phase contaminants and naturally-occurring analytes. It is particularly well suited for use where it is desirable to sample aqueous-phase constituents that may sorb or partition to particulate matter, because the method minimizes the potential for artifactual turbidity compared with high flow/high volume purging using a pump, bailer, or inertial-lift device (9-12).


1.1 This practice describes the method of low-flow purging and sampling used to collect groundwater samples from wells to assess groundwater quality.

1.2 The purpose of this procedure is to collect groundwater samples that represent a flow-weighted average of solute and colloid concentrations transported through the formation near the well screen under ambient conditions. Samples collected using this method can be analyzed for groundwater contaminants and/or naturally occurring analytes.

1.3 This practice is generally not suitable for use in wells with very low-yields and cannot be conducted using grab sampling or inertial lift devices. This practice is not suitable for use in wells with non-aqueous phase liquids.

1.4 Units—The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses are approximate mathematical conversions to inch-pound units that are provided for information only and are not considered standard.

1.5 This practice offers a set of instructions for performing one or more specific operations. This document cannot replace education or experience and should be used in conjunction with professional judgment. Not all aspects of this practice may be applicable in all circumstances. This ASTM standard is not intended to represent or replace the standard of care by which the adequacy of a given professional service must be judged, nor should this document be applied without consideration of a project's many unique aspects. The word “standard” in the title means only that the document has been approved through the ASTM consensus process.

1.6 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.7 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

flow-weighted average; groundwater; groundwater monitoring; groundwater quality; groundwater sampling; indicator parameters; low-flow purging; operational parameters; purging; water quality monitoring;
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