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Multi-parameter Water Quality Field Instruments

The following is a summary of price quotes for water quality multi-parameter (MP) instruments for (basic datasondes) that were submitted to WRD by YSI, Hach-Hydrolab, and In-Situ in April 2005 (see comprehensive quotes in accompanying links for synoptic monitoring (minisondes) and additional extended deployment systems). This summary and the more comprehensive price quotes reflect the general or "sticker" price for various instruments and the hand-held displays that would be a basic setup to monitor core parameters used in synoptic, continuous, or the newer extended deployment monitoring systems. Those procuring these instruments might expect to negotiate 10%, 20% or more off these prices depending on a variety of factors (e.g. purchasing more than one instrument may make for an even more substantial price reduction). This is not an endorsement of any of these company's products by NPS or WRD, but is provided as a representation of a few of the multi-parameter products industry offers. Actual vendor pricing/negotiating flexibility will vary.

Basic instrument configuration generally includes:

  1. Choosing from one or more size options ~1.75" diameter minisonde (limited sensors) and often used more in synoptic sampling/monitoring or the ~3.5" diameter datasonde with extra sensor options, greater long-term deployment capability/data storage memory and wiper systems to keep sensors clean.
  2. NPS core parameter sensors of Temperature, Specific Conductance, pH, Dissolved Oxygen (one or more type sensors available for DO w/some just developed) and depth/level as a basic core list of parameter measurements, plus internal power supply.
  3. A hand-held display system for field work with a built-in barometer to facilitate DO calibration (note, a laptop can be substituted but is not generally as robust [water proof/rugged] for field use as the handheld displays are designed for so a handheld display is recommended).
  4. Other sensor options (extended costs) that networks may choose to add (note: some of these available sensors have more limited applicability so their intended application, their appropriateness in that application, and conditions of their deployment should be considered very carefully in terms of each sensor/parameter detection level, interferences, durability/warranty, unique calibration requirements and/or costs, and feasibility etc.). A good example of this is weighing the better option to meet a particular networks needs when turbidity is to be monitored and then selecting between turbidity determined in situ from a probe measurement, ex situ with a field turbidimeter or from the sample sent for lab analysis.

On our multi-parameter water quality monitoring field instrument price quote comparision is a summary of reasonably comparable multi-parameter (MP) Datasonde instruments taken from the more detailed quotes also linked from the same page. These should be a reasonable approximation for budgeting purposes (note: minisonde quotes or smaller MP instruments often used for surface water synoptic/ground water (well) sampling are also provided in attachments/folders). For more complete product descriptions, operating system software, related hardware, additional options/sonde types and warranty information, see our links below and/or each company's website or contact a local sales representative. Additional costs for maintenance and yearly expendables (calibration solutions etc.) should be determined by each network but can be a significant cost depending on the nature of the monitoring program planned and the type/variety of sensor deployed.

Also included is an example of bacteriological sampling equipment pricing and a link to the IDEXX website.

Some Example/Preliminary Costs to aid in Estimating/Budget Preparation

Last Updated: February 02, 2012