Passive Samplers for Sewer Gas

Beacon Environmental can target a broad range of compounds using adsorbent samplers to passively collect VOCs in sewer gas as part of a vapor intruison risk assessment. Samples are analyzed following accredited US EPA Method TO-17 using thermal desorption-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (TD-GC/MS) instrumentation.  Passive sorbent samplers do not require pumps or electricity and can be used to collect samples over a brief period of time (e.g., hours) to weeks (e.g., 7 to 30+ days), thereby providing a time-integrated concentration in units of ug/m3 or ppbv.

A broad range of VOCs and lighter SVOCs can be targeted using passive samplers and because the samplers can be exposed for extended time periods, low reporting limits in the sub-ppbv range can be achieved. Passive samplers are analyzed at Beacon Environmental's accredited laboratory.

Beacon Environmental has provided consultants with passive samplers and analytical services which allow them to target VOCs in sewer gas to evaluate the risk of vapor intrusion from sewer and land drain lines.  Beacon also continues to support ongoing research with universities to better understand this important VI pathway.  A presentation from work completed with Dr. Kelly Pennell from the University of Kentucky can be found at:

Exposure Pathway Analysis Using Passive Diffusion Air Sampling Methods to Sample Sewer Air in Manholes and Cleanouts 
26th Annual International Conference, San Diego, California, 2016

Considerations for Evaluating Alternative Pathways as Part of Vapor Intrusion Assessments
28th Annual International Conference, San Diego, California, 2018: Vapor Intrusion: Cal/EPA Focus on Protecting Current and Future Building Occupants 

Benefits of Passive Samplers

  • Time-weighted average concentrations reported
  • Collect sample over one or more days… or weeks
  • Easy to use – No pumps or regulators required
  • Target chlorinated and petroleum compounds
  • Analysis by EPA Method TO-17 (TD-GC/MS)
  • Accurate and Reliable
  • Sensitive – Detection limits in the ppt range