Is it necessary to preserve water samples for ultratrace metals analyses?

Created by: Andrew White

Modified on: Fri, 3 May, 2019 at 12:00 PM


Yes.  


Preservation prevents precipitation and/or adsorption of metals between sampling and analysis For most metals, adding nitric acid (HNO3) to lower the sample pH to < 2 will ensure that the metals of interest remain in solution.  For mercury analyses, hydrochloric acid (HCl) in a glass container is used as a preservative.  If it is not possible to preserve in the field, samples requiring total metals analysis may be acidified in the lab as long as they are allowed to equilibrate for 16 hr before subsampling for analysis



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