Mercury in the Environment and Water Supply




Mercury Analysis (Univ. of Alberta)













Mercury Clean-up: Methodology used by Martin Shafer of the Water Chemistry Program at University of Wisconsin-Madison

Tubing-Line and Weight

Upon completion of lower depth sampling, the sampling line and support line are retrieved by slowly pulling on the Kevlar line (Dirty-hands person) while the clean-hands person coils the tubing into the storage bag. The sample line tubing should be un-coupled from the pumptubing before retrieval so that the river water drains out. Untie the support line and seal in storage box. The weight and tubing must be flushed with dilute acid to prevent cross-contamination and to prevent contaminant build-up. A dilute acid solution is supplied in a 1 gallon PE bottle. Before inserting the tubing weight into the acid bottle, wipe the top outer surfaces of the weight with a clean-room wiper. Insert the tubing weight into the acid bottle, connect the free end of the sampling line to the pump-head tubing, and flush at moderate-high pump speed. Pump until all of the acid solution has flushed through the tubing, and then continue pumping until a majority of the tubing has been pumped dry (you may have to lift the tubing weight out of the acid jar to ensure that the tubing pumps dry). Remove the weight from the acid bottle, place in a new plastic bag, and wipe the top outer surfaces with a new clean room wiper. Recoil the tubing, tie with an arm length glove, and place in plastic bag. Store in dedicated storage container. Tubing will be periodically resupplied from the Water Chemistry Lab.

Sampling Platform

Calex filter is discarded. Rinse PCL and TTAF with MQ, double-bag using clean techniques, and place in tubing storage container. (The TTAF fittings should be periodically returned to Madison along with samples for more rigorous cleaning). Canopy bag is discarded. Platform is rinsed with MQ and wiped with clean-room wipers. Canopy frame and platform are bagged and placed in rubbermaid container.


Bagged in two large PE bags. Fiberglass cleat adaptor is bagged and stored in supplies container.

Anchors and Anchor Line

Any sediment on anchors or line is washed off in the river before bringing into the boat. When anchor is clean, remove from water and place directly into a plastic bag.

Boat Rinsing

The inside surfaces of the boat must be rinsed with water after sampling is completed. If simple flushing with water is not sufficient to remove grime, then use the supplied brush to loosen dirt.

As Part of:Shafer, Martin. Trace Metal and Mercury Sampling. Methods for Lake Michigan Tributaries. 2(1): 1-231.( )