Contamination of consumables used in groundwater research

May 22, 2013

At Van Walt we take certification of consumables very seriously. Tubing is tested by KIWA and filters and bailers by an independent laboratory in the USA. The stock room of our suppliers is audited on a yearly basis to confirm that no fuel vapours are permitted and that electric fork-lifts are used. Only by doing this can we be satisfied that when we send you these materials they are as “clean” as humanly (and couriers permitting) possible.

We instruct our customers that we will not accept returns of consumables, even if they are still in their original packaging, because we have no audit trail and so we always dispose of any of these returns.

Well here is a tale of how it can go wrong:

By error, a customer returned some bladders with a rentals bladder pump, all within a Pelicase.  In the same shipment a generator was returned with a drained tank, as required by couriers for transportation. For interest we tested the returned bladders with a PID and recorded levels of 500 ppm!!!


We hope this serves as a reminder to keep consumables for groundwater research well away from any sources of contamination. If in doubt, wrapping them in ordinary kitchen aluminium foil will provide an efficient barrier.

Vincent van Walt

May 2013

You might also be interested in...

Spot measurement v. continuous environmental monitoring

August 25, 2023

Environmental monitoring has developed considerably over the years. From the time when a consultant went out monthly or quarterly with a dip tape to monitor the groundwater level in a borehole, wind forward...

Read More

Measuring Nitrates (NO3, NO3-N) in the field

June 20, 2023

The interest in Nitrates is nothing new. One way or another we have been measuring them for half a century.

Read More

Save time, save money, save effort, get better results – use low-flow sampling…

June 1, 2023

A client recently contacted me to ask if we can repair their high flow purge pump and or sell then a new one.  They were using it for (among other applications) to purge a 70m deep bore 3 times for a...

Read More