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30 Years of Scientific Innovation >> Examples of our Scientific Innovations >> A Passive Revolution In Water Sampling

A Passive Revolution In Water Sampling

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From spot-checking to continuous environmental monitoring

Traditional water-sampling techniques are complicated, time-consuming, and often expensive. Worst of all, they provide either only snapshots of pollution events or need expensive sampling stations that require electricity and servicing. Eurofins Sorbisense came up with a unique alternative.

Eurofins’ ground-breaking Sorbisense™ passive sampling system is designed to ease groundwater and surface water contamination assessment, and provide better and more reliable water-quality testing data.

SorbiSystems™ comprises a small cartridge, the SorbiCell, which contains an adsorbent and a tracer salt. SorbiSystems™ is suitable for installation in groundwater, surface water and wastewater environments. Once installed, water passes through the unit at a controlled rate, retaining the accumulation of specific chemical groups and solutes such as pesticides, nitrate, and volatile organic compounds. These solutes are collected throughout the entire installation period of the sampling cartridge.

As water moves through the unit, the tracer is dissolved proportionally to volume, regardless of the sampling rate. This principle allows a very accurate measurement of the sample volume and solute mass concentration. The cartridge is then easily removed and sent to a laboratory for analysis.

Data obtained through SorbiSystems™ represent an accumulated average concentration rather than a single snapshot, providing significantly more consistency of results and enabling an exact assessment of risks and the effect of remediation.

The technology can be used to assess groundwater, drains, drinking water, lakes, ponds and streams, and industrial wastewater. It has particular appeal for companies in sectors like aviation, oil and gas, and utilities where security issues and access to sites can be a challenge.

Efficient for all types of risk screening and risk assessments, the system is estimated to save 50-80% of the previously required time in the field.

The science behind

The innovative sampling tool is suitable for sampling virtually all non-biological solutes (contaminants), both organic volatiles and non-volatiles, inorganic macro and micro constituents. No equilibrium-based assumptions are made, and no diffusion calibrations required, just direct and transparent volume-based calculations of solute concentrations. Specially-designed mounting units allow for easy installation in a wide range of water environments.