Decoding Sample Variability and Deviation CB*~^ˠϮ

Spill Response Expo blog post 1 Spill Response Expo blog post 2

Today we are preparing for our offering ‘Decoding Sample Variability and Deviation CB*~^ˠϮ’ for the Contamination Expo 2018. We are discussing our experience of these tiny deviating sample codes (CB*~^ˠϮ) and our reaction to seeing the tiny letters and symbols of doom in data sets. You may well be thinking “Why does this apply to my projects, they run smoothly and I never have deviating samples?” or perhaps you are thinking that you have never even noticed the tiny codes. Well, we are thinking that we are only human and the scope for variability in the field and lab is huge! So, despite your best efforts, these tiny codes can creep into the back page of those all-important testing certificates. So what does this mean?

We are focusing on how key factors in the field and lab affect sample quality by delving into the origin of sample deviation and how our role as consultant and laboratory is much more than just putting soil in jars, testing samples and looking at the numbers!

Sampling technique is a hot topic in the contaminated land industry at present, it is recognised that current guidance may be lacking in some aspects. Groups such as the SoBRA subgroup EH4 are looking at updates to the guidance (coming soon). Our presentation will briefly look at the current status of the guidance and provide clarity on what to expect and when.

Variability in the field and lab is inherent, but there are factors that can be controlled both within the early parts of the project life cycle and specifically within the field and laboratory to achieve the most representative high quality results.

What difference do these factors make to the overall project? To demonstrate how the variability can impact results and strike fear with those tiny codes, we are completing lab trials to assess three factors; Heat, Space and Time. We hope the trials will enable us to see the significance of the three factors and we will assess the results with you during our presentation and look at how we can reduce the risk of seeing these codes.

There is still the question of how this will affect your project. We are busy today contacting regulators to gain some insight into how one little CB*~^ˠϮ may alter their view of your project as a whole.

So, we’re not talking statistics, we’re talking why am I taking this sample, what can I do to make sure it is the most representative sample it can be and how does my field preparation of a sample and the laboratory analysis affect the client.

Murray Environmental and Chemtest