Filtering Water Samples (with our handy dandy pump)

This has been an exciting week for the Riparian buffer group!  On Friday we went out to our field site and found 13 water samples waiting for us in the ISCO autosampler.  These samples mean that we got a storm strong enough to cause our channel to flow.  Even more awesome, we have samples from the whole storm, from start to finish, so we don’t have to extrapolate concentrations of nutrients and sediment for any of the storm.  The samples also had a dark brown tinge to them, implying high levels of DOC (Dissolved Organic Carbon).  DOC comes from water contacting dead plant matter on the ground, leaves in the trees, and basically any organic matter that the water touches.

(Looking fly and filtering.  Original samples in the background)

This past Friday we also filtered the samples and refrigerated/froze the filtered liquid.  To filter the samples we use a glass flask attached to a motorized pump.  Our filter pore size is 0.7 micrometers, which is pretty darn small.  To put it in perspective, cryptosporidium, the protozoan parasite often found in streams while camping, is 0.5-0.6 micrometers.  In the next two weeks we’ll be taking the filtered sample from the fridge and analyzing it for phosphorus, cations, anions, and even DOC.  So we’ve got our work cut out for us.  Until next time, ciao faithful readers,

Oh and don’t swallow a cryptosporidium.  It would be bad.




  1. Nice picture! Those samples are so dark in color. Hope there aren’t too many cryptosporidia in them.