The typical homeowner should not have to take any type of oil in water measurement, but many industries and government agencies do. If the organization uses equipment near water or monitors the health of a body of water, regular analysis is key to ensuring safety for marine life and consumers. |
A number of regulations outline the oil and grease limits. These limits, however, depend on the location of the water, its use, whether the liquid will be disposed of, and other factors. Organizations that must routinely take oil in water measurement tests know that this analysis is not as simple as it seems. Oil is not a unique chemical, and it can come in many different forms. There are also different types of analysis that may be used, such as solvent extraction methods or gas chromatography.
Because the regulations and methods for collection vary with each application and situation, organizations must carefully consider the specifics outlined in the regulations. These guidelines may state the exact chemical characteristics that define "oil," the acceptable levels of lubricant within the water body, and the required processes for analysis.
Below are the primary factors to consider for this type of analysis:
Precision and Desired Range for Each Method
Regulations should define the acceptable room for error with each method of analysis. A particular type of straightforward test, for example, may indicate that a sample has a lubricant concentration of 100 ppm (parts per million) from a source that has an acceptable range of 78-114ppm. However, if the analysis also includes a treatment to remove some of the lubricant, the acceptable range is then 64-132ppm. Finding different results using different methods is to be expected, so long as the results are still within the acceptable range for that particular method.
Avoiding Operator Errors
No matter how many tests are performed using different methods, the oil in water measurement still requires a person to conduct it. The tester may be required to shake the mixture during analysis, and do so for a specified period of time. If not, the sample size may not be adequate, or the results may be invalid. For best results, call for two operators to conduct tests in order to compare findings.
Collecting the samples for analysis is critical to receiving accurate results. Organizations should ensure their processes specify that multiple samples be collected in the same area under identical conditions.
Similarly, organizations should make sure their vessels for collection are free of contaminants or residue from previous samples. Oil easily sticks to surfaces, so collection containers should be thoroughly rinsed with solvent before reuse in order to avoid contaminating the most recent sample.
Oil in water measurement is an important process used by many industries and agencies that are responsible for maintaining healthy water conditions. The regulations defined for a particular industry and location help to keep us all safer.
To learn more about receiving an oil in water measurement, visit http://wilksir.com/products/oil-in-water-soil-analyzers.html.
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