Last week, we introduced a common and frustrating challenge of water quality monitoring instrumentation – biofouling.
With that introduction, we talked about one way to take on this challenge, copper based anti-fouling paint. This week we will provide a second tip to tackle this issue. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will arm you, to fight fouling, by providing tips on how to fight it and how to collect the highest quality data over the course of a long-term sonde deployment period. Using a combination of our suggestions, you’ll be able to significantly reduce the frequency at which your team must travel to field sites to clean and maintain sondes and water quality sensors.
Use Copper Components on Your Instrument to Prevent Biofouling
As a more efficient and less time consuming way to prevent fouling, YSI introduced copper components to be used with our sondes around 2006.
Organisms have a hard time getting attached to these copper components much like the copper-based anti-fouling paint. The intention of these components is to obviously extend deployment times but to also provide a faster but just as effective way to prepare the sonde for long term deployments.
Accessories like copper guards, wiper blocks, copper tape, mesh screens, and even copper probes are available and these components all help extend deployment times with very little time investment. The cost of these components varies from about $70 for a roll of tape to a few hundred dollars for a copper guard.
Using the copper components, ideally in some combination, increases sonde deployment times. You can expect about a month or so of life out of the copper tape before it needs to be reapplied. One tip we want to pass along about the tape is to not let it deteriorate too long before you remove and reapply it. The tape is easier to remove if it is still somewhat intact as opposed to waiting when the tape becomes mostly used up.
People with a less steady hand especially appreciate the copper tape which can be easily and quickly applied to all of the probes within just a few minutes. You simply clean your probes and wrap the tape around the probes so they are completely covered as shown in the pictures. The tape lasts about a month or so before it needs to be removed and reapplied but the actual copper guards, wipers, and probes can last years.
In addition there is less of a concern about toxic effects using copper materials vs. the paints which makes it more environmentally friendly. So remember to consider using copper tape or other copper based components for an easy way to help prevent fouling and extend your deployment duration.
Next, Tip #3 – Protect Sensing Surfaces with Mechanical Wipers & Use Simple Accessories to Save on Cleanup Time
A huge thank you to YSI Product Manager, Brandon Smith, YSI Marketing Specialist, Patrick Beatty, YSI Technical Support Team Lead, Tom Moeggenberg and YSI Application Engineer, Tiffany Shirmer for providing the information found in this post.
Additional Blog Posts of Interest:
7 Tips to Fight Fouling and Extend Sonde Deployments | Tip #1
Extend Your Water Quality Sonde Deployment Times with Wiped Sensors [Case Study]
The EXO Wiped Conductivity & Temperature Sensor Helps Eliminate Biofouling
The Evolution of Water Quality Monitoring [Free eBook]