Many scientific laboratories follow, as standard practice, a relatively short maximum holding time (within 7 days) for the analysis of total suspended solids (TSS) in environmental water samples. In this study we have subsampled from bulk water samples stored at ∼4 °C in the dark, then analysed for TSS at time intervals up to 105 days after collection. The nonsignificant differences in TSS results observed over time demonstrates that storage at ∼4 °C in the dark is an effective method of preserving samples for TSS analysis, far past the 7-day standard practice. Extending the maximum holding time will ease the pressure on sample collectors and laboratory staff who until now have had to determine TSS within an impractically short period.

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