Water sampling

Water sample types we can analyse include:

  • environmental
  • groundwater
  • stream water
  • borehole
  • pore

We also have the facilities to analyse other waters such as saline matrices, synthetic, experimental and hydrothermal fluids, effluents, and leacheates.

Anions: ion chromatography

We have one Dionex ICS5000 dual line ion chromatograph (UKAS accredited for aqueous samples to ISO 17025) and one Dionex DX–600 IC used for method development. There is capability for high throughput survey scale analyses of fluoride, chloride, bromide, nitrate, nitrite, phosphate and sulphate, as well as low volume analyses and saline matrices.

pH, alkalinity and organic carbon

pH and alkalinity are measured using a Radiometer TIM autotitrator. Both pH and alkalinity (expressed as bicarbonate) are accredited by UKAS. Determination of alkalinity speciation (hydroxide, carbonate and bicarbonate) is provided, but outside the scope of accreditation.

Total organic carbon (TOC) or dissolved organic carbon (DOC) according to whether the sample has been filtered or not is measured as non-purgeable organic carbon (NPOC) to reflect sparging inherent in the method and utilises a Shimadzu TOC instrument (UKAS accredited).

Gamma emitting isotopes capability

Natural daughter products from uranium and thorium decay, such as 210Pb, may be used as environmental tracers. Occasionally anthropogenic processes such as oil or gas extraction may pre–concentrate these to hazardous levels i.e. radium in barium sulphate–rich brines. Some of these may be measured using our Canberra Broad Energy germanium gamma spectrometers.

Certain artificial isotopes may be found in our environment or industrial processes due to past nuclear releases, i.e. 137Cs from atmospheric bomb tests or 60Co from steel irradiation. Some of these may be measured using our Canberra Broad Energy germanium gamma spectrometers.


Please contact Michael Watts, Charles Gowing or Simon Chenery for further information.