Transition from Bucket to Bag Sampling

At the 2020 NADP Spring meeting, the Executive Committee approved the National Trends Network (NTN) to make the switch from bucket sampling to bag sampling. The transition will occur over the next couple of months.

The switch from buckets to bag sampling will result in significant shipping cost savings for sites, as the 6N1 supply boxes will no longer be required. The only supplies to be shipped back to the lab for cleaning are the used lids.

Bag Sampling Supplies


Q and A Session Videos

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding the Bucket to Bag Sampling transition:

Q1: Do I use the same supplies?
A: Each site will be supplied with a startup kit containing two modified NTN buckets, a portable hand vacuum, two bucket straps, and some bucket plugs. Each site will also receive a new supply box, containing nine (9) 1L bottles, 1L shipping boxes, field forms, ten (10) bucket lids, ten (10) sampling bags and one poly mailer.
Q2: How will bag sampling work?
A: Each week a new bag will be deployed in the modified bucket (will have a drilled hole). A bag strap will be placed around the bag/bucket, and the excess air will be evacuated using the provided handheld vacuum. The bucket will be weighed and then covered with a clean lid. An updated SOP and training video will be available shortly on the website.
Q3: Do I ship the bag in each week?
A: No, the sample decanting will remain the same. The bag will remain in the bucket, the sample will be poured off into the 1L bottle as it is currently done with bucket sampling.
Q5: What used supplies do I ship back?
A: The modified buckets will remain on site and the bags can be discarded or recycled after use. Each supply box will contain a poly mailer that can be used to ship the used lids back to the CAL. The original supply box can be recycled. There is no requirement to ship the box back unless returning excess bottles and shipping boxes due to dry weeks.
Q6: When will my site start bag sampling and when will I start receiving supplies?
A: Sites will be phased in based on incoming used supply boxes. If you wish to start sooner, please contact us at
Q7: What do I do with the new/used buckets I have on site when I start bag sampling?
A: We will request all excess bucket supplies be shipped back to the CAL for cleaning and redistribution to other sites transitioning to bag sampling.
Q8: Will the sample shipping address change?
A: No, all samples and supply shipping should be sent to:
NADP Sample Receiving
465 Henry Mall
Madison, WI 53706
Q9: Who do I contact with more questions?
A: Please feel free to contact us at 1-800-952-7353 or, if you have any questions or concerns regarding the upcoming transition to bag sampling.

Thank you for your continued support of NADP.