Some owners of industrial complexes may be wondering why the stormwater samples that they take for analysis keep failing compliance tests despite all the efforts taken to keep pollutants within acceptable levels. This article discusses some of the factors that may contribute to compromising the quality of the stormwater samples that you present for analysis.
The Time of Analysis
Your industrial complex may be failing its stormwater compliance tests because the samples taken may not be analysed within the appropriate timeframe. For instance, you could be taking too long to analyse the pH of the samples after you have taken them. Such delays may allow the stormwater sample to react with the ambient air to the extent that the test results reveal a higher degree of acidity or alkalinity when compared to the baseline levels indicated in the parameters of the conditions stipulated in your environmental permit. You should therefore prevent such a reason for failing tests by ensuring that samples are tested within the stipulated duration after the sample is taken.
How Sampling is Done
How you take a stormwater sample may affect the quality of that sample. For instance, standing upstream from the location where samples are taken may agitate the stormwater to the extent that the sample may have a higher concentration of particulates than is permitted in your area. The timing of taking samples can also affect the outcome of the tests done. For instance, a sample taken from the first flushes of stormwater getting into the discharge location may contain higher levels of contaminants when compared to a sample that is taken several minutes after that initial water gets into the discharge location. Adjust the timing of sample taking so that test results reveal the truth about the quality of your stormwater. For instance, if the regulations require you to take samples within half an hour after a storm, wait for the stormwater to be discharged into the discharge location for about 20 minutes before you take test samples.
The Cleanliness of Sampling Equipment
Never use dirty or wet sampling equipment to take stormwater samples for analysis. That dirt may contain chemicals that may affect the test results. For instance, a sampling container that previously contained a carbonated drink may cause the test results to reveal a different pH than samples taken using clean equipment. Always ensure that sampling equipment is clean and you will increase the chance of passing stormwater quality tests.
The conditions contained in your environmental permit may be too technical for you to comprehend. It is therefore advisable for you to hire an environmental consultant so that you receive proper help in ensuring that stormwater samples taken pass the tests conducted by regulators in your area.