Preservation and handling of water samples

BS EN ISO 5667-3:2018 Water quality — Sampling Part 3: Preservation and handling of water samples.

All ISO 17025 accredited laboratories are required to implement standard BS EN ISO 5667-3:2018 Water quality — Sampling Part 3: Preservation and handling of water samples (ISO 5667-3:2018).

These requirements have been introduced by EA LC (Laboratory Committee of the European co-operation for Accreditation) and all accredited bodies that are signatories (INAB, UKAS etc) must enforce the requirements.

The requirements, when followed, will ensure your sample result is valid. These requirements apply to all water samples including those for biological analyses but it is not applicable to water samples intended for microbiological analyses, ecotoxicological assays, biological assays and passive sampling.

Failure to meet any of the standard requirements will result in the laboratory having to identify your sample as deviating (from the standard requirements) and noting on your report that the result may not be indicative of the actual result.
If you are taking and sending samples for analysis there are a number of requirements that you must meet and these include:

  • Sampling Requirements
  • Container Type
  • Preservative
  • Storage Temperature during Transport
  • Chain of Custody information

With every quote we send to you we include a table of information covering our accredited methods which lists, by parameter, the holding time, container type and preservation if required. Where we havn't carried out any in-house validation we will apply the standard requirements.

For many of our accredited parameters Fitz Scientific have carried out in-house validation projects that tested the accuracy and repeatability of our processes to provide you with the best possible options for your analysis. This means that, for some parameters, we have confirmed that our specific containers, holding times, preservation interpretations etc do not affect the analysis, and so the validity, of your sample results.

Fitz Scientific strongly recommend that all personnel involved in the sampling, packing, transport and reporting of results in your company familiarise themselves with the requirements of the standard, and their resulting responsibilities, as it is up to you to ensure that the requirements under your control are met. Failure to meet them will result in your sample analysis being noted as possibly not being valid.

Customer Advice

  1. Identify the parameter you want to test
  2. Decide on the container type
  3. Identify any on-site requirements e.g. filtering
  4. Decide on the required preservation (if any)
  5. Identify the volume required
  6. Take your sample following any specified guidelines for your parameter
  7. Identify the time and date of the sampling on the chain of custody (CoC)
  8. Have the sample transported to the laboratory at 2 – 8º C

It is then the responsibility of the laboratory to log the sample, store it at the required temperature and process it by an approved method to ensure you receive a valid result.

Where Fitz Scientific are carrying out the on-site sampling and transport of your samples then the responsibility to meet the requirements will be ours.

Transport Temperature Study