Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 213–246 | Cite as

Soil sampling and analysis for volatile organic compounds

  • T. E. Lewis
  • A. B. Crockett
  • R. L. Siegrist
Article

Abstract

Concerns over data quality have raised many questions related to sampling soils for volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This paper was prepared in response to some of these questions and concerns expressed by Remedial Project Managers (RPMs) and On-Scene Coordinators (OSCs). The following questions are frequently asked:
  1. 1.

    Is there a specific device suggested for sampling soils for VOCs?

     
  2. 2.

    Are there significant losses of VOCs when transferring a soil sample from a sampling device (e.g., split spoon) into the sample container?

     
  3. 3.

    What is the best method for getting the sample from the split spoon (or other device) into the sample container?

     
  4. 4.

    Are there smaller devices such as subcore samplers available for collecting aliquots from the larger core and efficiently transferring the sample into the sample container?

     
  5. 5.

    Are certain containers better than others for shipping and storing soil samples for VOC analysis?

     
  6. 6.

    Are there any reliable preservation procedures for reducing VOC losses from soil samples and for extending holding times?

     

Guidance is provided for selecting the most effective sampling device for collecting samples from soil matrices. The techniques for sample collection, sample handling, containerizing, shipment, and storage described in this paper reduce VOC losses and generally provide more representative samples for volatile organic analyses (VOA) than techniques in current use. For a discussion on the proper use of sampling equipment the reader should refer to other sources (Acker, 1974; U.S. EPA, 1983; U.S. EPA, 1986a).

Soil, as referred to in this report, encompasses the mass (surface and subsurface) of unconsolidated mantle of weathered rock and loose material lying above solid rock. Further, a distinction must be made as to what fraction of the unconsolidated material is soil and what fraction is not. The soil component here is defined as all mineral and naturally occurring organic material that is 2 mm or less in size. This is the size normally used to differentiate between soils (consisting of sands, silts, and clays) and gravels.

Although numerous sampling situations may be encountered, this paper focuses on three broad categories of sites that might be sampled for VOCs:
  1. 1.

    Open test pit or trench.

     
  2. 2.

    Surface soils (<5 ft in depth).

     
  3. 3.

    Subsurface soils (>5 ft in depth).

     

Keywords

Trench VOCs Sampling Device Subsurface Soil Weathered Rock 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 49 CFR: 1982, Code of Federal Regulations, 49, Parts 100 to 177, October 1, 1982, pp. 231.Google Scholar
  2. Acker, W.L.: 1974, Basic Procedures for Soil Sampling and Core Drilling, Acker Drill Co., Inc., Scranton, PA, 246 pp.Google Scholar
  3. Arneth, J.-D., Milde, G., Kerndorff, H., and Schleyer, R.: 1988, ‘Waste Deposit Influences on Ground-water Quality as a Tool for Waste Type and Site Selection for Final Storage Quality, in: Baccini, P. (ed.), The Landfill: Reactor and Final Storage, Swiss Workshop on Land Disposal of Solid Wastes, Gerzensee, March, 14–17, pp. 399–415.Google Scholar
  4. Barcelona, M.J.: 1989, ‘Overview of the Sampling Process, in: Keith, L.H. (ed.), Principles of Environmental Sampling, American Chemical Society, Washington, D.C., pp. 3–23.Google Scholar
  5. Barth, D.S., Mason, B.J., Starks, T.H., and Brown, K.W.: 1989, Soil Sampling Quality Assurance User's Guide (2nd edition), EPA 600/8-89/046, U.S. EPA, EMSL-LV, Las Vegas, NV, March, 225 pp.Google Scholar
  6. Boucher, F.R. and Lee, G.F.: 1972, ‘Adsorption of Lindane and Dieldrin Pesticides on Unconsolidated Aquifer Sands’, Env. Sci. Tech. 6, 538–543.Google Scholar
  7. Bouwer, E.J.: 1984, ‘Biotransformation of Organic Micropollutants in the subsurface’, in: Petroleum Hydrocarbons and Organic Chemicals in Ground Water, National Well Water Association, Dublin, OH.Google Scholar
  8. Cameron, R.E.: 1963, ‘Algae of Southern Arizona — Part 1. Introduction to Blue-green Algae’, Rev. Alg., N.S. 6 (4), 282–318.Google Scholar
  9. Chiou, C.T. and Shoup, T.D.: 1985, ‘Soil Sorption of Organic Vapors and Effects of Humidity on Sorptive Mechanism and Capacity’, Env. Sci. Tech. 19 (12), 1196–1200.Google Scholar
  10. Chiou, C.T., Kile, D.E., and Malcolm, R.L.: 1988, ‘Sorption of Vapors of Some Organic Liquids on Soil Humic Acid and its Relation to Partitioning of Organic Compounds in Soil Organic Matter’, Env. Sci. Tech. 22 (3), 298–303.Google Scholar
  11. Dean, J.D., Huyakorn, P.S., Donigan, A.S., Voos, K.A., Schanz, R.W., Meeks, Y.J., and Carsel, R.F.: 1989, Risk of Unsaturated/Saturated Transport and Transformation of Chemical Concentrations (RUSTIC) — Volume I: Theory and Code Verification, EPA/600/3-89/048a, Environmental Research Laboratory, U.S. EPA, Athens, GA, 203 pp.Google Scholar
  12. Devitt, D.A., Evans, R.B., Jury, W.A., Starks, T.H., Eklunk, B., and Gholson, A.: 1987, Soil Gas Screening for Detection and Mapping of Volatile Organics, National Well Water Association, Dublin, OH, 270 pp.Google Scholar
  13. Farmer, W.J., Yang, M.-S., Letey, J., and Spencer, W.S.: 1980, Land Disposal of Hexachlorobenzene Wastes: Controlling Vapor Movement in Soils. EPA-600/2-80-119, U.S. EPA, Environmental Research Laboratory, Cincinnati, OH, August.Google Scholar
  14. Gillman, R.W. and Hannesin, S.F.: 1990, ‘Sorption of Aromatic Hydrocarbons by Materials Used in Construction of Ground-water Sampling Wells’, in: Nielsen, D.M. and Johnson, A.I. (eds.), Ground Water and Vadose Zone Monitoring, ASTM STP 1053, American Society of Testing Materials, Philadelphia, PA, pp. 108–122.Google Scholar
  15. Hanisch, R.C. and McDevitt, M.A.: 1984, ‘Protocols for Sampling and Analysis of Surface Impoundments and Land Treatment/Disposal Sites for VOCs’, Technical Note. EPA-EMB 68-02-3850, Work Assignment 11.Google Scholar
  16. Jamison, V.W., Raymond, R.L., and Hudson, J.O.: 1975, ‘Biodegradation of High-octane Gasoline’, in: Proceedings of the Third International Biodegradation Symposium, Applied Science, London, U.K.Google Scholar
  17. Johnson, R.E.: 1976, ‘Degradation of DDT by Fungi’, ResiDue Review 61, 1–28.Google Scholar
  18. Jury, W.A.: 1984, A User's Manual for the Environmental Fate Screening Model Programs BAM and BCM, Dept. Soil and Environ., Sci., Univ. of California, Riverside, CA. Submitted to the California Department of Health Services.Google Scholar
  19. Karickhoff, S.W., Brown, D.S., and Scott, T.A.: 1979, ‘Sorption of Hydrophobic Pollutants on Natural Sediments’, Water Res. 13, 241–248.Google Scholar
  20. Kleopfer, R.D. et al.: 1985, ‘Anaerobic Degradation of Trichloroethylene in Soil’, Env. Sci. Techn. 19, 277–284.Google Scholar
  21. Kobayashi, H. and Rittman, B.E.: 1982, ‘Microbial Removal of Hazardous Organic Compounds’, Env. Sci. Tech. 16 (3), 170A-183A.Google Scholar
  22. Lechevalier, H.A. and Lechevalier, M.P.: 1976, ‘Actinomycetes Found in Sewage Treatment Plants of the Activated Sludge Type, in: Actinomycetes: The Boundry Microorganisms, Toppen Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan.Google Scholar
  23. Lewis, T.E., Deason, B.A., Gerlach, C.L., and Bottrell, D.W.: 1990, ‘Performance Evaluation Materials for the Analysis of Volatile Organic Compounds in Soil’: A preliminary assessment, J. Env. Sci. Health A25 (5), 505–531.Google Scholar
  24. Lewis, T.E. and Parolini, J.R.: 1994, ‘Temperature and Pressure Fluctuations in Air Shipped Samples’: Implications on sample integrity, Analyst (in preparation).Google Scholar
  25. Lotse, E.G., Graetz, D.A., Chesters, G., Lee, G.B., and Newland, L.W.: 1968, ‘Lindane Adsorption by Lake Sediments’, Env. Sci. Tech. 2, 353–357.Google Scholar
  26. Maskarinec, M.P.: 1990, Personal Communication.Google Scholar
  27. Maskarinec, M.P., Johnson, L.H., Holladay, S.K.: 1988, Preanalytical Holding Times, Paper presented at the Quality Assurance in Environmental Meeting, U.S. Army Toxic and Hazardous Materials Agency, Baltimore, MD, May 25–26, 1988.Google Scholar
  28. McCoy, D.E.: 1985, ‘“301” Studies Provide Insight into Future of CERCLA’, The Hazardous Waste Consultant 3/2, 18–24.Google Scholar
  29. Plumb, R.H., Jr.: 1987, ‘A Practical Alternative to the RCRA Organic Indicator Parameters’, in: Bursztynsky, T. (ed.), Proceedings of Hazmacon 87, Santa Clara, CA, April 21–23, pp. 135–150.Google Scholar
  30. Plumb, R.H., Jr. and Pitchford, A.M.: 1985, Volatile Organic Scans: Implications for Ground Water Monitoring. Paper presented at the National Water Well Association/American Petroleum Institute Conference on Petroleum Hydrocarbons and Organic Chemicals in Ground Water, Houston, TX, November 13–15.Google Scholar
  31. Richardson, E.M. and Epstein, E.: 1971, ‘Retention of Three Insecticides on Different Size Soil Particles Suspended in Water’, Soil Sci. Soc. Am. Proc. 35, 884–887.Google Scholar
  32. Roy, W.R. and Griffin, R.A.: 1985, ‘Mobility of Organic Solvents in Water-Saturated Soil Materials’, Environ. Geol. Wat. Sci. 7 (4), 241–247.Google Scholar
  33. Shen, T.T. and Sewell, G.H.: 1982, ‘Air Pollution Problems of Uncontrolled Hazardous Waste Sites’, in: Proceedings of 1982 Superfund Conference, Hazardous Materials Control Research Institute, Washington, pp. 76–80.Google Scholar
  34. Siegrist, R.L.: 1990, ‘Volatile Organic Compound Measurements in Contaminated Soils: The State of Practice, Methods Development, and Implications for Remediation Projects’, J. Haz. Mat. (in press).Google Scholar
  35. Siegrist, R.L. and Jennsen, P.D.: 1990, ‘Evaluation of Sampling Method Effects on Volatile Organic Compound Measurements in Contaminated Soils’, Env. Sci. Tech. 24, 1387–1392.Google Scholar
  36. Smith, J.A., Chiou, C.T., Kammer, J.A., and Kile, D.E.: 1990, ‘Effect of Soil Moisture on the Sorption of Trichloroethene Vapor to Vadose-zone Soil at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey’, Env. Sci. Tech. 24, 676–683.Google Scholar
  37. Spencer, W.F. and Cliath, M.M.: 1970, Soil Sci. Soc. Am. Proc. 34, 574–579.Google Scholar
  38. Spencer, W.F., Cliath, M.M., Jury, W.A., and Zhang, L.-Z.: 1988, ‘Volatilization of Organic Chemicals From Soil as Related to their Henry's Law Constants’, J. Env. Qual. 17 (3), 504–509.Google Scholar
  39. Stuart, J.D., Roe, V.D., Nash, W.M., and Robbins, G.A.: 1990, Manual headspace method to analyze for gasoline contamination of ground water by capillary column gas chromatography (personal communication).Google Scholar
  40. U.S. EPA: 1982, Test Method 624 (Purgeables), Methods for Organic Chemical Analysis of Municipal and Industrial Wastes, EPA-600/4-82-057, U.S. EPA Environmental Support Laboratory, Cincinnati, OH.Google Scholar
  41. U.S. EPA: 1983, Characterization of Hazardous Waste Sites — A Methods Manual: Volume II — Available Sampling Methods. EPA-600/4-83-040.Google Scholar
  42. U.S. EPA: 1986a, Permit Guidance Manual on Unsaturated Zone Monitoring for Hazardous Waste Land Treatment Units, EPA/530/-SW-86-040, pp. 11–62.Google Scholar
  43. U.S. EPA: 1986b, Tests Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste (SW-846), Method 8240, Off. Solid Waste and Emergency Response (3rd edn.).Google Scholar
  44. U.S. EPA: 1987, Data Quality Objectives for Remedial Response Activities: Development Process. EPA/540/g-87/003, Off. Solid Waste and Emergency Response, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  45. U.S. EPA: 1988, Field Screening Method Catalog User's Guide. EPA/540/2-88/005, Sept. 1988, Office of Emergency and Remedial Response, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  46. U.S. EPA: 1991a, Investigation of Sample and Sample Handling Techniques for the Measurement of Volatile Organic Compounds in Soil. University of Nevada, Las Vegas, submitted to U.S. EPA, Environmental Monitoring Systems Laboratory, Las Vegas, NV (in preparation).Google Scholar
  47. U.S. EPA: 1991b, Manual for Sampling Soils for Volatile Organic Compounds. Environmental Monitoring Systems Laboratory, Las Vegas, NV, 26 pp. (in preparation).Google Scholar
  48. van Ee, J.J., Blume, L.J., and Starks, T.H.: 1990, A Rationale for the Assessment of Errors in the Sampling of Soils, EPA/600/4-90/013, Office of Research and Development, Environmental Monitoring Systems Laboratory, Las Vegas, NV, 57 pp.Google Scholar
  49. Verschueren, K.: 1983, Handbook of Environmental Data on Organic Chemicals, Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, New York, NY (2nd edn.).Google Scholar
  50. Vogel, T.M. and McCarty, P.L.: 1985, ‘Biotransformation of Tetrachlorothylene to Trichloroethylene, Dichloroethylene, Vinyl Chloride, and Carbon Dioxide under Methanogenic Conditions’, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 49, 1080–1084Google Scholar
  51. Voice, T.C. and Weber, W.J., Jr.: 1983, ‘Sorption of Hydrophobic Compounds by Sediments, Soils, and Suspended Solids — I. Theory and Background’, Wat. Res. 17 (10), 1433–1441.Google Scholar
  52. Wilson, J.T and Wilson, B.H.: 1985, ‘Biotransformation of Trichloroethylene in Soil’, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 49, 242–243.Google Scholar
  53. Wolf, D.C., Dao, T.H., Scott, H.D., and Lavy, T.L.: 1989, ‘Influence of Sterilization Methods on Selected Soil Microbiological, Physical, and Chemical Properties’, J. Env. Qual. 18, 39–44.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. E. Lewis
    • 1
    • 2
  • A. B. Crockett
    • 3
  • R. L. Siegrist
    • 4
  1. 1.Forestry Sciences LaboratoryU.S. Bureau of Land ManagementResearch Triangle ParkUSA
  2. 2.Lockheed Environmental Systems and Technologies Co.Las VegasUSA
  3. 3.Environmental Science and Technology GroupIdaho National Engineering LaboratoryIdaho FallsUSA
  4. 4.Oak Ridge National LaboratoryOak RidgeUSA

Personalised recommendations