First Advisor

James F. Pankow

Date of Publication

Fall 1-16-2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Civil & Environmental Engineering


Civil and Environmental Engineering




Water -- Sampling -- Equipment and supplies -- Design and construction, Pesticides -- Analysis



Physical Description

1 online resource (vi, 82 pages)


As of 2007, U.S. pesticide use stood at 1.1 billion pounds with 80% of all usage in agriculture. Such realities pose a potentially dangerous threat to our surface water bodies. This research provides a detailed analysis of the design, operation and field testing of a prototype water sampler, the Small Volume Autonomous Water Sampler (SVAWS). The research includes a discussion of the design and construction of the SVAWS. Seven USGS employees operated the SVAWS in a number of different states and conditions in order to collect samples for pesticide analysis. Field-testing outcomes of the SVAWS were measured through a Participant Survey Request and a Likert-Scale Assessment.

Overall, survey data proved the SVAWS to be an effective device for collecting water samples in different locations and conditions. Users also understood the SVAWS has significant potential for applications other than pesticide studies. While feedback did show a number of alterations or modifications could improve the design, the device proved to be effective across many of its goals, from valid water sampling to reducing costs of sample acquisition. Recommendations for future research include these and other avenues of research. A conclusion addresses the potential future of the SVAWS with respect to water sampling applications.


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