Laboratory Sample Submission in the Last Frontier – Keys to a successful analytical project in Alaska
Justin A. Nelson
SGS North America, Inc.
Anchorage, Alaska Environmental Laboratory
Sample Kit Requests
Chain of Custody Forms / Sample Labeling
Shipping Coolers to SGS
SAMPLE KIT REQUESTS
# of Samples / date(s)
Is the project regulated
by the DOD?
How many Trip Blanks
Is site-specific QC
SAMPLE KIT REQUESTS CONTINUED
How much sample is
Most semivolatile soil
analyses require ~25-30
grams per analysis.
4 oz. Jar = 150-200 g soil
DRO/RRO – 30 g
PAH SIMS – 23 g
% solids – 15 g
68 g per analysis (2 per
SAMPLE KIT REQUESTS CONTINUED
Organic Water Analyses
require the entire
container for each run.
Inorganics generally do
not require the entire
container for analysis,
with the exception of
BOD/TSS analysis of
Analyses are grouped by
For analyses with short
holding time, an expected
date/time of delivery is
Volatiles analysis for soil
1 x 4 oz. Pre-weighed
1 x 25 mL vial Methanol
Put soil (50 g, or ~1/4 full)
into container, and cover
Methanol, like the Trip
Blank you received with
Remember, ALWAYS use a full vial of Methanol, and ALWAYS
record when more than one vial is used.
SAMPLING PROCEDURES CONTINUED
Volatiles analysis of water
Fill to top (meniscus), and
carefully replace cap.
When sampling for
multiple parameters, fill
the Volatiles containers
Never pack coolers so
that VOA vials are in
hydrocarbon content may
lack the surface tension
contact with Ice needed to
form a meniscus
VOLATILES ANALYSIS OF WATER SAMPLES
Water sources with high
amounts of CaCO3 may
Dissolved gases in water
samples may result in
If the project is regulated
by the DOD, then each
VOA sample (3 Vials)
should be bagged
SAMPLE LABELING GUIDELINES
If you use your own
labels, make sure they will
hold up to moisture
Sample ID should match
Applying a label to a wet
container may result in
labels coming off in-transit
or during unpacking.
Write IDs on labels and
lids if this is likely.
THE CHAIN OF CUSTODY FORM – SITE
If QC is required on a particular sample from your site,
then additional containers need to be filled.
For Organic Waters analyses, this simply means tripling
the number of containers filled.
Soils generally require 1-2 more 4 ounce jars, depending
on analyses. No additional 4-ounce w/Methanol is needed
Inorganic waters analysis is more complicated with regards
to MS/MSD/Duplicate, so it is best if we know in advance
(at Kit Request) if it is required.
COC SEALS AND ADDRESS LABEL FOR
Before closing cooler, fill the empty space.
Leftover boxes, packing material, additional bubble wrap.
Shaking the cooler should not make much, if any noise.
GUIDELINES FOR SHIPPING TO THE LAB…
Our Courier (Alert Courier) has scheduled pickups at the
main carriers (Goldstreak, Ravn, PenAir) in the morning
and afternoon. They will pick up all coolers addressed to
SGS automatically. Cost is $20 per Airbill.
Prior notice of samples incoming is always appreciated,
especially for Rush/Short hold samples.
An airbill number and the name of the carrier is convenient
for tracking the shipment.
AFTER RECEIPT AT THE LAB
Sit back and relax, we’ll take it from here!
After the samples are in our LIMS System, the chain of
custody / sample receipt form will be uploaded to Engage.
Any issues with the samples will be communicated to you.
Once results are available, the final report is reviewed and
uploaded, along with the Data View, if requested
Other EDDs, such as COELT, SEDD, ERPIMS, or
Terrabase are done by our Data Services department.
Samples are held for 14 days after the final report is
issued, unless other arrangements are made.
REVISED / CORRECTED REPORTS…AND HOW
TO PREVENT THEM
Corrected Reports are generally a result of a failure of
communication from Client Project Manager
Sample IDs – is it a 5 or an S?
Compound list errors
Acronyms, Acronyms, Acronyms…PCE, DCA, TCE, Tl, Ti,
Sample dates/times – Errors not caught at review
The list goes on…
RETRIEVING YOUR DATA FROM ENGAGE
Access data at
If you need a
please send an email to
your project manager or
use the “Click to register”
link on the homepage to