Mission to place Passive Samplers


Passive sampler installed to assess the drip-irrigation water's quality.

From 9 to 15 July, my colleague Daniel and I went to Senegal to visit our partners of the Greening Plastic Project. One of the things we had to do was to place passive samplers in the test gardens to assess whether the drip irrigation kits will not pollute the environment. Other goals included learning more about waste management in Senegal and seeing in what other fields passive samplers might be applied.

A full report of the mission is available as a Google photoalbum:

We installed a set of passive samplers in each of the show-case gardens. To sample the soil water, we put a circular tube with holes in the ground with a sampler in it. The tube was then covered and a protective cap was placed over it. To sample the irrigation water which flows through the tubes, we placed a rectangular box around a dripper; again with a sampler inside. Then finally to know the water quality with which is being irrigated to start with, we hung samplers in the water reservoirs of the gardens.

The samplers will stay in the ground and water for a few months, after which they will be sent back to us by post. Analysis in the lab will then show whether these irrigation systems are safe to use in an agricultural setting, or whether this is actually something you wouldn't want to promote. We are also keen to see what the level of background polution is, of all the waste laying around...

Friso Vos de Wael's picture

Thank you for the post and the picture. You mention that you would like to evaluate if it is safe to promote. I am wondering what kind of pollutions you are going to test? What could make it unsafe? Micro-plastics? 

Daniel Giesen's picture

Thanks for the interest. We do not focus on microplastics so far. The type of sampler that have been deployed measures organic pollution. Potentially these contaminantes derive from the original source material, are produced during the re-melting process or are break-down products due to environmental effects in the field.