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Questa Baseline and Pre-Mining Ground-Water-Quality Investigation. 16. Quality Assurance and Quality Control for Water Analyses

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The Questa baseline and pre-mining ground-water quality investigation has the main objective of inferring the ground-water chemistry at an active mine site. Hence, existing ground-water chemistry and its quality assurance and quality control is of crucial importance to this study and a substantial effort was spent on this activity. Analyses of seventy-two blanks demonstrated that contamination from processing, handling, and analyses were minimal. Blanks collected using water deionized with anion and cation exchange resins contained elevated concentrations of boron 0.17 milligrams per liter mgL and silica 3.90 mgL, whereas double-distilled water did not. Boron and silica were not completely retained by the resins because they can exist as uncharged species in water. Chloride was detected in ten blanks, the highest being 3.9 mgL, probably as the result of washing bottles, filter apparatuses, and tubing with hydrochloric acid. Sulfate was detected in seven blanks the highest value was 3.0 mgL, most likely because of carryover from the high sulfate waters sampled. With only a few exceptions, the remaining blank analyses were near or below method detection limits. Analyses of standard reference water samples by cold-vapor atomic fluorescence spectrometry, ion chromatography, inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry, inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry, FerroZine, graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry, hydride generation atomic spectrometry, and titration provided an accuracy check.

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  • Water Pollution and Control

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