Sediment monitoring bias by automatic sampler in comparison with large volume sampling for parking lot runoff

Robert M. Roseen, Thomas P. Ballestero, George D. Fowler, Qizhong Guo, James Houle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


A field study was conducted to assess biases of suspended sediment concentration (SSC) analyses (ASTM Standard D3977-97) performed on discrete samples obtained by automatic sampler in comparison with actual sediment concentrations from large volume sampling. Research results indicate that the biases attributed to the monitoring of sediment event mean concentration (EMC) and median particle size in parking lot runoff by automated samplers (nonisokinetic) were minimal. Large volume samples (~15,000 L) of the first-flush event runoff were taken from a storm-water sewer system for eighteen storm events over two years. The intent was to obtain a complete portion of a storm to accurately determine EMCs and particle size distributions (PSDs). Concurrently, flow-weighted discrete samples were obtained by automatic samplers for the same portion of the events. Thus, characteristics of sediments from a whole-storm sample were compared with those of subsamples obtained by an automatic sampler using nonisokinetic sampling. SSCs and PSDs were compared for the two respective field sampling methods. The two methods showed a strong correlation for median sediment EMCs (R2=0.98, n=18). Biases to particle size distributions were found to be both for the large particles (>75-150 μm) and smaller fines (<25 μm). Specific sediment size fractions captured by the large volume sampling and automatic sampler were not significantly different (α=0.05) for D50, which = 58 and 46 μm, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-257
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 8 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)


  • Particle size
  • Sampling
  • Storm water
  • Suspended sediment


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