July 6, 2010 Meeting with Kathy O by Glen R.
On July 6, after Winnie A, Josie S, Kathy O and myself went out with DL on his boat to sample a few locations for Surfactant samples. Afterwards, we met at Kathy O.s where she led the lab processing of the 6 samples taken, giving each of us a one-on-one lesson on doing this.
Kathy had last winter assembled absolutely superb directions on how to perform sampling, which proved themselves with their ease of use. If you haven’t had an opportunity to congratulate Kathy on her lengthy drafting of superb directions I hope you do so soon as we have been very fortunate to have her do this.
Myself being a slow learner I decided to use a learning aid for this lab meeting so I could pay more attention to the actual doing than in taking notes as we went along. So, I tape recorded the lab as we performed it.
Kathy’s thoroughness is reflected in the less than a few paragraphs of notes that I took while listening today to the hour of tape recording. There just wasn’t that much that Kathy hadn’t already covered in her printed directions. In any case, here are the few notes off of the tape recording, (the tape which I have already begun taping over for other things):
So, here are the notes:
*Kathy says that mix, swirl, and invert mean different things, so pay attention to the exact wording when combining solutions.
*If using a spectrometer, which reads by light passing through the vial, be sure and wipe clean the glass for fingerprints if they get on the vial, or better yet only handle the vial by the lid
* before doing a test do a reagent blank to get a starting point. Kathy did 2 measurements of the blank, and they were slightly different.
*Expired reagents won’t give true results.
*You could go to Lamont’s website and discover that there is more than 1 way to test for surfactants.
* the jars are washed with hydrochloric acid and then rinsed twice with the sample water before the sample vial is filled with the sample water
*After the lab part was done, the results appeared to show that all of the samples taken were below the range of which surfactants are considered a local problem. Glen wondered that since we didn’t find anything, if there was any value in continuing surfactant sampling in the local marine waters. Kathy pointed out that if you do different samplings and you keep seeing non-detect, non-detect and non-detect, then you wouldn’t do the sampling every week but you might decide to do it every six months or once a year, to see if there are any long term changes.
*Glen wonders if the foam that comes down President’s Channel on the tide change is indicative of surfactants coming down from Vancouver. (Sometimes there are 8 inch diameter foam bubbles, as seen on July 21,2010)
*Winnie is curious if we would find surfactant levels changing as they go down the top of the island down to emerge in the marine water. She wonders about sampling surfactants in Ryan D.s pond. Then the water emerges later in ditches along the main road and heads towards the T with some of it spilling into Henry’s meadow along the way. Perhaps some of the same water ends up in the TNC upper and lower ponds. What are the surfactant levels at these different freshwater places?
*Kathy says "One thing is that our sample gathering on the boat was awkward and there needs to be a better way of organizing it."
*Kathy was a bit puzzled about the bubbles on the side of the bottle. The sampling directions suggested that the kit was for sampling fresh water or effluent places, and didn’t mention saltwater testing. Kathy wondered if the salt in our samples was causing the bubbles, thus interfering with the sampling results. She questioned Russell B in detail about this anomaly later. Russell said that the sampling result numbers need to be adjusted with a specific equation to account for the salt water. (Kathy can better respond to the adjustments needed).