The first and basic question that comes in every mind is that what is sampling and why it is necessary?? It is the technique in which a specific portion of the object on which the study is based on, is selected for processing and to draw conclusions. In case of water sampling, different water samples are collected from different locations which are then submitted to lab for analysis. This technique of water sampling was not common in old days but now it is beneficial for us in many aspects. Water samples can provide us a lot of information on a water source such as nutrient content, pollution detection and bacterial counts and this allows many food and water processing industries to improve their water quality by submitting water samples for testing.
Orally this technique seems very easy to perform but practically it is full of complications if the person performing sampling technique lacks the essential knowledge. So before starting this adventurous process, one should consult with his/her supervisor or the expertise having full understanding of sampling procedures otherwise all their efforts will be unsuccessful leading to wastage of time, money and energy. Moreover, lab assistants can also be consulted. They can provide us with more detailed information including all the requirements, the problems and bridles and their respective solutions.
Let’s take an example of sampling at the filtration plants.
The selection of a specific filter site is very important for effective sampling technique. The plants suitable in terms of its location, design and landscape give best sampling results. The person should consider the following things while selecting a suitable sampling site:
• The plant should be easily accessible for all
• The environment around the plant should be hygienic, free of dust and pollution otherwise it will affect the quality and quantity of both inflow and outflow water
• The equipment used in filtration plants like filters, taps, pipelines, tanks, should be well maintained otherwise they can affect the sampling results.
For a successful sampling technique, a person should also be capable to cope with all the upcoming problems and hurdles. First of all, the person should be aware of the opening and closing time of the filtration plants in order to save time and budget. When fortunately the plant is opened, the person may have to face and answer to questions from uncooperative staff present at the site especially in the case when sampling of inflow water is required. These investigations can be handled if the person humbly negotiate and explain his/her objective to them.
In the end, there are some important points which should be kept in mind by the people doing their sampling projects for the first time:
• Bacteria grow really well in moist and warm environments, therefore narrow mouthed sterile plastic bottles should be used and after collection of water samples, these bottles should be placed in cool environment to avoid microbial growth
• For this purpose, mineral water bottles can be used or we can also take bottles from the water testing labs
• Disinfect the end of the faucet with a lighter and allow the water to run for two minutes
• After filling the bottles, replace the cap without touching inside the cap or the mouth of the bottle
• It is very necessary to submit the samples as early as possible i.e. before 24 hours to avoid bacterial growth. It would be easy and possible if a person has a proper or personal transport.
This blog might help the people performing their sampling process for the first time, as it contains all the necessary and basic information which leads to successful sampling in a first attempt without any hurdles and with expected significant results.