Year 1 sampling completed for study evaluating collection methods for microplastics in stormwater

Posted May 6, 2024

SCCWRP and its partners at the University of California, Riverside have completed the first season of wet-weather sample collection as part of a three-year effort to standardize the methods that California is using to collect environmental samples in preparation for measuring their microplastics content.

The Year 1 sampling effort, completed in March, used four different methods to collect stormwater samples at sites across Los Angeles County. The next phase of the project will further evaluate methods under controlled conditions in a flume lab at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Researchers’ goal is to develop standardized operating procedures (SOPs) for sample collection, as well as to better define uncertainties and limitations of different collection methods and how results compare to one other.

The sample collection standardization effort is the latest step in California’s ongoing efforts to develop capacity to generate high-quality, directly comparable data on microplastics pollution in water bodies statewide. Traditionally, researchers have not used a consistent set of collection methods when sampling ambient water, stormwater, sediment and aquatic life.

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