Holding Times and Container Types

Holding times, container and preservation requirements are set to assure that contaminant concentrations do not change significantly between sampling and analysis. This searchable table shows the appropriate container, preservation conditions, and holding time requirements for our common laboratory tests. Please contact a project manager or sample receiving for bottle orders and specific sampling guidance for your project.

CATParameterMatrix
(note 1)
Container
(note 2)
PreservationMax Hold Time
BACTColiform, ColilertW, DWP, Bottle or BagCool, 4°C, 0.008% Na2S2O3 (note 3)6-24 hours (note 4)
BACTColiform, Fecal and TotalW, DWP,GCool, 4°C, 0.008% Na2S2O3 (note 3)6-24 hours (note 4)
BACTFecal StreptococciWP,GCool, 4°C, 0.008% Na2S2O3 (note 3)6-24 hours (note 4)
INORGAcidityWP,GCool, 4°C14 days
INORGAlkalinityW, DWP,GCool, 4°C14 days
INORGAmmoniaW, DWP,GCool, 4°C, H2SO4 to pH<228 days
INORGBiochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD)WP,GCool, 4°C48 hours
INORGBromateW, DWP,G50mg/L EDA, cool to 4°C28 days
INORGBromideW, DWP,GNone Required28 days
INORGChemical Oxygen Demand (COD)WP,GCool, 4°C, H2SO4 to pH<228 days
INORGChloride - Method 300.0W, DWP,GNone Required28 days
INORGChloride - Method 9056W, SP,GCool, 4°CAnalyze immediately
INORGChlorine, Total ResidualW, DWP,GNone Required15 minutes
INORGChloriteW, DWP,G50mg/L EDA, cool to 4°C14 days
INORGChlorophyll-AWG AmberCool, 4°CAnalyze immediately
INORGChromium VI - Method 7196AWP,GCool, 4°C24 hours
INORGColorW, DWP,GCool, 4°C48 hours
INORGCyanide, Total and Amenable to ChlorinationW, DWP,GCool, 4°C, NaOH to pH>12, plus 0.6 g Ascorbic Acid14 days
INORGCyanide, Weak Acid DissociableWP,GCool, 4°C, NaOH to pH >1214 days
INORGFerrous IronW, DWG AmberCool, 4°C24 hours
INORGFluoride - Method 300.0W, DWP,GNone Required28 days
INORGFluoride - Method 9056W, SP,GCool, 4°CAnalyze immediately
INORGHardnessW, DWP,GHNO3 to pH<26 months
INORGHydrogen Ion (pH)W, DW, SP,GNone RequiredAnalyze immediately
INORGIgnitabilityWGNone Required14 days
INORGKjeldahl and Organic NitrogenWP,GCool, 4°C, H2SO4 to pH<228 days
INORGNitrate - Method 300.0W, DWP,GCool, 4°C48 hours
INORGNitrate - Method 353.2W, DWP,GCool, 4°C, H2SO4 to pH<248 hours
INORGNitrate - Method 9056W, SP,GCool, 4°CAnalyze immediately
INORGNitrate-Nitrite - Method 353.2W, DWP,GCool, 4°C, H2SO4 to pH<228 days
INORGNitriteWP,GCool, 4°C48 hours
INORGOrthophosphate – Method 365.3W, DWP,GCool, 4°CAnalyze immediately
INORGOxygen, Dissolved (Probe)W, DWG, Bottle and TopNone RequiredAnalyze immediately
INORGOxygen, Dissolved (Winkler)W, DWG, Bottle and TopFix on Site and Store in Dark8 hours
INORGPerchlorateW, DWP,GProtect from temp. extremes28 days
INORGPhenolics, TotalWG OnlyCool, 4°C, H2SO4 to pH<228 days
INORGPhosphorus, ElementalWG OnlyCool, 4°C48 hours
INORGPhosphorus, TotalWP,GCool, 4°C, H2SO4 to pH<228 days
INORGResidue, TotalWP,GCool, 4°C7 days
INORGResidue, Filterable (TDS)WP,GCool, 4°C7 days
INORGResidue, Nonfilterable (TSS)WP,GCool, 4°C7 days
INORGResidue, SettleableWP,GCool, 4°C48 hours
INORGResidue, VolatileWP,GCool, 4°C7 days
INORGSilicaWP OnlyCool, 4°C28 days
INORGSpecific ConductanceW, DWP,GCool, 4°C28 days
INORGSulfate – Method 300.0W, DWP,GCool, 4°C28 days
INORGSulfate – Method 9056WP,GCool, 4°CAnalyze immediately
INORGSulfideWP,GCool, 4°C, Add Zinc Acetate plus Sodium Hydroxide to pH>97 days
INORGSulfiteWP,GNone Required24 hours
INORGSurfactants (MBAS)WP,GCool, 4°C48 hours
INORGTannin and LigninWP,GCool, 4°C28 days
INORGTemperatureWP,GNone RequiredAnalyze immediately
INORGTurbidityW, DWP,GCool, 4°C48 hours
METALSMetals, except CrVI and MercuryW, DWP,GHNO3 to pH<26 months
METALSMetals, except CrVI and MercurySG, Teflon-Lined CapCool, 4°C6 months
METALSChromium VI – Method 7195WP,GCool, 4°C24 hours
METALSMercuryWP,GHNO3 to pH<228 days
METALSMercurySP,GCool, 4°C28 days
ORGOil and Grease, Hexane Extractable Material (EPA 1664)WG, Teflon-Lined CapCool, 4°C, H2SO4 to pH<228 days
ORGOrganic Carbon, Total (TOC)WP,GCool, 4°C, H2SO4 to pH<228 days
ORGOrganic Halogens, Total (TOX)WG, Teflon-Lined CapCool, 4°C, H2SO4 to pH<2,  No headspace       28 days
ORGOrganic Halogens, Adsorbable (AOX)WG, Teflon-Lined CapCool, 4°C, HNO3 to pH<26 months
ORGPetroleum Hydrocarbons, Total RecoverableWG, Teflon-Lined CapCool, 4°C, HCl or H2SO4 to pH<228 days
ORGPetroleum Hydrocarbons, TotalWG, Teflon-Lined CapCool, 4°C, HCl or H2SO4 to pH<27 days until extraction; 40 days after extraction
ORGPetroleum Hydrocarbons, TotalSG, Teflon-Lined CapCool, 4°C14 days until extraction; 40 days after extraction
ORGPetroleum Hydrocarbons, Volatile (Gasoline-Range Organics)WG, Teflon-Lined Septum CapCool, 4°C, HCl to pH<2, No Headspace14 days
ORGPetroleum Hydrocarbons, Volatile (Gasoline-Range Organics)SG, Teflon-Lined CapCool, 4°C, Minimize Headspace14 days
ORGPurgeable HalocarbonsWG, Teflon-Lined, Septum CapNo Residual Chlorine Present: HCl to pH<2, Cool, 4°C, No Headspace14 days
ORGPurgeable HalocarbonsWG, Teflon-Lined, Septum CapResidual Chlorine Present: 10% Na2S2O3, HCl to pH<2, Cool, 4°Cn No Headspace14 days
ORGPurgeable HalocarbonsSG, Teflon-Lined CapCool, 4°C, Minimize Headspace14 days
ORGPurgeable HalocarbonsSMethod 5035A, G. Teflon-Lined, Septum CapFreeze at -20°C on site in vial14 days
ORGPurgeable HalocarbonsSMethod 5035A, G. Teflon-Lined, Septum CapFrozen in coring tool on site48 hours
ORGPurgeable HalocarbonsSMethod 5035A, G. Teflon-Lined, Septum CapCool 4°C, freeze at lab within 48 hours14 days
ORGPurgeable HalocarbonsSMethod 5035A, G. Teflon-Lined, Septum CapCool 4°C, methanol preserved within 48 hours14 days
ORGPurgeable HalocarbonsSMethod 5035A, G. Teflon-Lined, Septum CapCool 4°C in vial48 hours
ORGPurgeable HalocarbonsSMethod 5035A, G. Teflon-Lined, Septum CapCool 4°C in coring tool48 hours
ORGPurgeable HalocarbonsSMethod 5035A, G. Teflon-Lined, Septum CapCool 4°C, Sodium Bisulfate14 days
ORGPurgeable Aromatic Hydrocarbons (including BTEX and MTBE)WG, Teflon-Lined, Septum CapNo Residual Chlorine Present: HCl to pH<2, Cool, 4°C, No Headspace14 days
ORGPurgeable Aromatic Hydrocarbons (including BTEX and MTBE)WG, Teflon-Lined, Septum CapResidual Chlorine Present: 10%  Na2S2O3, HCl to pH<2, Cool 4°C14 days
ORGPurgeable Aromatic Hydrocarbons (including BTEX and MTBE)SG, Teflon-Lined CapCool, 4°C, Minimize Headspace14 days
ORGPurgeable Aromatic Hydrocarbons (including BTEX and MTBE)SMethod 5035A, G. Teflon-Lined, Septum CapFreeze at -20°C on site in vial14 days
ORGPurgeable Aromatic Hydrocarbons (including BTEX and MTBE)SMethod 5035A, G. Teflon-Lined, Septum CapFrozen in coring tool on site48 hours
ORGPurgeable Aromatic Hydrocarbons (including BTEX and MTBE)SMethod 5035A, G. Teflon-Lined, Septum CapCool 4°C, freeze at lab within 48 hours14 days
ORGPurgeable Aromatic Hydrocarbons (including BTEX and MTBE)SMethod 5035A, G. Teflon-Lined, Septum CapCool 4°C, methanol preserved within 48 hours14 days
ORGPurgeable Aromatic Hydrocarbons (including BTEX and MTBE)SMethod 5035A, G. Teflon-Lined, Septum CapCool 4°C in vial48 hours
ORGPurgeable Aromatic Hydrocarbons (including BTEX and MTBE)SMethod 5035A, G. Teflon-Lined, Septum CapCool 4°C in coring tool48 hours
ORGPurgeable Aromatic Hydrocarbons (including BTEX and MTBE)SMethod 5035A, G. Teflon-Lined, Septum CapCool 4°C, Sodium Bisulfate14 days
ORGAcrolein, Acrylonitrile, AcetonitrileWG, Teflon-Lined, Septum CapAdjust pH to 4-5, Cool, 4°C, No Headspace14 days
ORGEDB and DBCPW,SG, Teflon-Lined CapCool, 4°C, 3 mg Na2S2O3, No Headspace28 days
ORGDioxins/Furans by 8290/8280WG AmberCool, 4°C30 days
ORGDioxins/Furans by 8290/8280SGCool, 4°C30 days, if frozen 1 year
ORGDioxins/Furans by 1613BWG AmberCool, 4°C1 year
ORGDioxins/Furans by 1613BSGFrozen1 year
ORGCoplanar PCBs by 1668AWG AmberCool, 4°C1 year
ORGCoplanar PCBs by 1668ASGCool, 4°C1 year
ORGPetroleum Hydrocarbons, Extractable (Diesel-Range Organics)W,SG, Teflon-Lined CapCool, 4°C7 days until extraction (note 6), 40 days after extraction 
ORGAlcohols and GlycolsW,SG, Teflon-Lined CapCool, 4°C (note 5)7 days until extraction (note 6), 40 days after extraction
ORGPhenolsW,SG, Teflon-Lined CapCool, 4°C (note 5)7 days until extraction (note 6), 40 days after extraction
ORGPhthalate EstersW,SG, Teflon-Lined CapCool, 4°C (note 5)7 days until extraction (note 6), 40 days after extraction  
ORGNitrosaminesW,SG, Teflon-Lined CapCool, 4°C7 days until extraction (note 6), 40 days after extraction
ORGOrganochlorine Pesticides and PCBsW,SG, Teflon-Lined CapCool, 4°C7 days until extraction (note 6), 40 days after extraction
ORGNitroaromatics and Cyclic KetonesW,SG, Teflon-Lined CapCool, 4°C7 days until extraction (note 6), 40 days after extraction
ORGPolynuclear Aromatic HydrocarbonsW,SG, Teflon-Lined CapCool, 4°C7 days until extraction (note 6), 40 days after extraction
ORGHaloethersW,SG, Teflon-Lined CapCool, 4°C (note 5)7 days until extraction (note 6), 40 days after extraction
ORGChlorinated HydrocarbonsW,SG, Teflon-Lined CapCool, 4°C (note 5)7 days until extraction (note 6), 40 days after extraction
ORGOrganophosphorus PesticidesW,SG, Teflon-Lined CapCool, 4°C (note 5)7 days until extraction (note 6), 40 days after extraction
ORGNitrogen- and Phosphorus-Containing PesticidesW,SG, Teflon-Lined CapCool, 4°C (note 5)7 days until extraction (note 6), 40 days after extraction
ORGCarbonyl Compounds (formaldehyde)WG, Teflon-Lined CapCool, 4°C (note 5)3 days until extraction; 3 days after extraction
ORGChlorinated HerbicidesW,SG, Teflon-Lined CapCool, 4°C (note 5)7 days until extraction (note 6), 40 days after extraction
ORGChlorinated PhenolicsWG, Teflon-Lined CapH2SO4 to pH<2, Cool, 4°C (note 5)30 days until extraction; 30 days after extraction
ORGResin and Fatty AcidsWG, Teflon-Lined CapNaOH to pH >10, Cool, 4°C (note 5)30 days until extraction; 30 days after extraction
ORGPurgeable OrganicsDWG, Teflon-Lined, Septum CapAscorbic Acid, HCl to pH<2, Cool, 4°C, No Headspace14 days
ORGEDB, DBCP, and TCPDWG, Teflon-Lined Septum CapCool, 4°C, 3 mg Na2S2O3, No Headspace14 days
ORGCarbamates, CarbamoyloximesDWG, Amber, Teflon-Lined Cap1.8 mL monochloroacetic acid to pH<3; 80 mg/L Na2S2O3  if  Res.Cl.;  Cool, 4°C 28 days
ORGChlorinated Herbicides DWG, Amber, Teflon-Lined CapIf Res.Cl, 2mg/40mL NaS; Cool, <6°C14 days until extraction; 21 days after extraction
ORGChlorinated PesticidesDWG, Amber, Teflon-Lined Cap50 mg/L NaS, HCl to pH< 2; Cool, 4°C14 days until extraction; 30 days after extraction
ORGDiquat and ParaquatDWHDPE, Amber, Teflon-Lined Cap100 mg/L Na2S2O3  if Res.Cl., Cool, 4°C 7days until extraction; 21 days after extraction
ORGEndothallDWG, Amber, Teflon-Lined CapCool, 4°C7 days until extraction; 14 days after extraction
ORGGlyphosateDWG, Amber, Teflon-Lined Cap100 mg/L Na2S2O3, Cool, 4°C14 days
ORGHaloacetic AcidsDWG, Amber, Teflon-Lined Cap100 mg/L NH4Cl, Cool, 4°C14 days until extraction; 7 days after extraction
ORGSemivolatile OrganicsDWG, Amber, Teflon-Lined Cap50 mg/L NaS, HCl to pH< 2; Cool, 4°C14 days until extraction; 30 days after extraction
TCLPMercuryHWP,GSample:  Cool, 4°C28 days until extraction; 
TCLPMercuryHWP,GTCLP extract:  HNO3 to pH<228 days after extraction
TCLPMetals, except Mercury HWP,GSample:  Cool, 4°C180 days until extraction; 
TCLPMetals, except Mercury HWP,GTCLP extract:  HNO3 to pH<2180 days after extraction
TCLPVolatile OrganicsHWG, Teflon-Lined CapSample:  Cool, 4°C , Minimize Headspace14 days until extraction; 
TCLPVolatile OrganicsHWG, Teflon-Lined CapTCLP extract:  Cool, 4°C, HCl to pH<2, No Headspace14 days after extraction
TCLPSemivolatile OrganicsHWG, Teflon-Lined CapSample: Cool,  4°C, Store in Darka14 days to prepare leachate;
TCLPSemivolatile OrganicsHWG, Teflon-Lined CapTCLP extract:  Cool, 4°C, Store in Darka 7 days to extract
TCLPSemivolatile OrganicsHWG, Teflon-Lined CapTCLP extract:  Cool, 4°C, Store in Darka40 days after extraction to analyze
TCLPOrganochlorine PesticidesHWG, Teflon-Lined CapSample: Cool, 4°C14 days until TCLP ext'n;
TCLPOrganochlorine PesticidesHWG, Teflon-Lined CapTCLP extract: Cool, 4°C7 days until extraction; 40 days after extraction
TCLPChlorinated HerbicidesHWG, Teflon-Lined CapSample: Cool, 4°C14 days until TCLP ext'n;
TCLPChlorinated HerbicidesHWG, Teflon-Lined CapTCLP extract: Cool, 4°C7 days until extraction; 40 days after extraction

Notes:

  1. DW = Drinking Water; W = Water; S = Soil or Sediment; HW = Hazardous Waste; A = Air
  2. P = Polyethylene; G = Glass
  3. For chlorinated water samples
  4. The maximum holding time is dependent on the geographical proximity of sample source to the laboratory
  5. If the water sample contains residual chlorine, 10% sodium thiosulfate is used to dechlorinate
  6. Fourteen days until extraction for soil, sediment, and sludge samples