Tips and Tricks

2016 Field Manual Update

We are in the process of updating our field manual.  There are some new tips and guidelines included in the update.  We recommend that all HydraSleeve users review the newest version available now by clicking on this image:


We have learned a lot since our first HydraSleeves were installed in 2002. 

The Interim Field Manual covers the basics of installation, retrieval and dispensing.  Soon we will be adding some important tips to remember.  From our vast experience using HydraSleeves these tips can be valuable to the new (and even experienced) HydraSleeve users.  For example:

1. To achieve a 1:1 fill rate using a continuous pull, you must size the HydraSleeve to fit the well diameter.  Use 2-inch sleeves in 2-inch wells and 4-inch sleeves should be used in 4-inch wells.  Recover through the sample zone at a rate of at least 1 foot per second.  If in doubt, don't be afaid to cycle the sampler up and down within the well screen to assure that it fills in the screened interval.  When cycling make sure the upstroke is at a minimum of 1 foot per second.

2.  When recovered using continuous upward pull the HydraSleeve collects a sequential core of sample.  The lower-most portion of the sample interval will be in the bottom of the sleeve and the upper-most portion in the top of the sleeve.

3.  Always discard the water sitting on top of the check valve prior to puncturing the bag to discharge the sample.  If the bag is punctured without discarding the liquid from the top of the check valve, the non-represenative fluid above the valve will drain into the sample.

4.  For sensitive, low volume VOC samples (sinkers) it is better to puncture the HydraSleeve in the middle or lower half of the unit to provide a sample collected from the bottom of the sample zone.

5.  If in doubt, cycle the HydraSleeve to be sure if fills in the well screen.  Studies have shown that cycling has minimal effect on sample turbidity.

6.  Bottom-weighted HydraSleeves displace very little fluid when they are deployed which results in minimal mixing of the water column.  When modified slightly (ie. SpeedBag) they can eliminate the well equilibration period normally required for no-purge samples.

7.  Recover the HydraSleeve rapidly through the sceened interval then try to recover at  slightly slower but steady pace through the casing.

These are the kinds of practical tips that come from more than a decade of experience in working with HydraSleeves.  Please review the interim field manual for basic guidelines; but please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about using HydraSleeves for your specific application.  800-996-2225 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please remember the HydraSleeve is a simple tool - so is a screwdriver.  Both can be misused. 

Independent Comparison Study from USGS

usgs study 1 2016Here's an independently published study where the HydraSleeve was compared to using purge and pump sampling. 

Concentration Comparison of Selected Constituents between Groundwater Samples Collected within the Missouri River Alluvial Aquifer using Purge and Pump and Grab-Sampling Methods, near the City of Independence, Missouri, 2013

This study includes agricultural nutrients sampled with the HydraSleeve as well as numerous other parameters.  The takeaway is that HydraSleeves can work to replace the current sampling method (volume purging) except for sample volume needed for duplicates samples.  The wells are all 2-inch diameter with 5-foot screen intervals, limiting sample volume available for no-purge sampling.  The laboratory required 2-liters of sample for duplicate analysis. The investigators are planning to either reduce the number of parameters analyzed or reduce the analytical volume requirements for duplicate samples during the next phase of the study.

Please click the image to download the full report.

Converting to the New Heavy Duty Universal SuperSleeves

Last month we made the announcement about having Heavy Duty SuperSleeves available as an optional purchase.

Please see the details at this link: 2L

In order to enhance product integrity we have decided to switch all SuperSleeves and SkinnySleeves over to the new heavy duty material. 

We are updating all of our inventory and are ready to fill orders at this time. 

The sizes are all in the SkinnySleeve sizes which are slightly longer and smaller diameter than the SuperSleeves.  However when sized with the correct Top Weights they will still fill within the same zone because they will compress farther into the bottom of the well (20 inches instead of 24 for the 2-liter variety).  You will get slightly less sample volume; however it will still be approximately 1-liter; 1.5-liters; and 2-liters when using the new products.

So, now that they are universal the difference is not in the sleeve - it's in the hardware.  The smaller diameter bag will now stretch to fit over the larger SuperSleeve hardware because there are no seams to tear and it's more durable.  So if you are using the the new Heavy Duty Universal SuperSleeve in Schedule 40 wells you will purchase SuperSleeve weights or collars; if you are using them in Schedule 80 (or 50mm) wells you need to purchase SkinnySleeve hardware.

2-inch Heavy Duty Universal SuperSleeves - For use in all 2-inch PVC wells will fit Sched 40 and Sched 80 and 50mm wells
   1-liter length 31 inches cost $21
1.5-liter length 46 inches cost $24
   2-liter length 60 inches cost $26
2-inch SuperSleeve Reusable Components for Schedule 40 wells
PVC COLLAR - for bottom weighted deployment $29
8-ounce bottom weight to be used with collar cost $23
PVC/Stainless top weight for short screens & short water columns cost $68
5-ounce bottom weight to be used with top weight cost $13
2-inch SkinnySleeve Reusable Components for 50mm or Schedule 80 wells
PVC COLLAR - for bottom weighted deployment cost $29
8-ounce bottom weight to be used with collar cost $23
PVC/Stainless top weight for short screens & short water columns cost $68
5-ounce bottom weight to be used with top weight cost $13
Please click here for assembly instructions.

New Heavy Duty, Universal 2-liter Super/SkinnySleeves

Our standard HydraSleeves and SpeedBags are produced at a facility and on the same line that fabricates medical IV bags, liquid specimen bags, blood bags and flexible food packaging.  All of these items, as well as our products, must be flexible and have a high integrity water-tight seal.  But, the maximum working length for products produced on this equipment is 38 inches.  For our products made on this equipment the restriction on the length, combined with the limited internal diameter of a 2-inch well results in a maximum sample volume of about 1.25 liters for 2-inch wells.

For our larger volume samplers used in 2-inch wells (the longer SuperSleeves and SkinnySleeves) we must go to a different manufacturing process which results in a lower integrity seal on the sides of the sleeve.  Most of the time these longer sleeves function fine, but occasionally, again due to the production process, some units have had pinhole leaks and may even burst along the side seam when full.  (Note:  Once they leave the water table the internal pressure at the bottom of the long sleeves is substantial and will usually be the location  where the side seams will fail.)  Although SuperSleeves have been used since 2009 with very few failures, we still would like to address the issue and improve or product line.

Unfortunately we cannot see the presence of pinholes or determine the integrity of the side seams on these units during the inspection and assembly process.  We do conduct regular spot pressure tests of the sleeves at regular intervals, but the leaks are not consistent from run to run and will intermittently appear in the same run.

So, as an option, to assure you don't lose your sample when using the longer Super/SkinnySleeves we have found a production facility that makes the same material but it is extruded so there is no seam.  This means that the possibility for pinholes and tearing along the seam has been drastiaclly reduced.   Also pressure tests show that when compared to the old material the new extruded material takes about double the pressure to burst.  The manufactured SpeedBag bursts at 10 psi; the old SuperSleeve material bursts at 8 psi; and the new extruded SuperSleeve material bursts at 20 psi (the equivalent of 46 feet of water).  It should be noted that the extruded material did not burst or blow out, it separated from the connection to the pressure hose.

We have made these new heavy duty sleeves universal, in that they will fit both Schedule 40 and Schedule 80 as well as metric 50 mm wells.  The difference will be which top weight or collar you choose.  The dimensions are actually the same dimensions as our standard SkinnySleeves, but the material is flexible enough that it will also work with the schedule 40 hardware.   As you can see in this photo the material is more opaque than the standard SuperSleeve material but that is hard to determine when they are folded and inside the normal packaging.  So until we get permanent packaging, to differentiate between the assembled sleeves, these will come sealed in a generic green Ziploc bag as pictured here. 


We also think it's nice to have the blue check valve just for visibility.

The dimensions are 1.75 O.D. x 66 inches long and they hold ~2 liters of sample.  Using the SuperSleeve top weight they compress to within 20 inches from the bottom of the well in 24 hours; with the SkinnySleeve top weight they compress to within 24 inches from the bottom of the well.  Since the Heavy Duty SuperSleeve compresses farther than the standard units, even though, these are 6 inches longer they still fill in 7 feet of saturated screen.

These new heavy duty bags are only available in the 2-liter size.  They are $27.00 ($5 more than the standard units) and are optional for now.   Order now.

The standard 2-liter Super/SkinnySleeves will be available while supplies last.

We encourage you to make the switch to these new heavy duty 2-liter bags.  We have much more confidence in this material for the longer sleeves. 

Please note that the shorter 1-liter and 1.5-liter bags do not normally experience the pinholes and leaking because there is not enough pressure in the bag to make them fail.  If you would like the heavy duty version in the smaller sizes, they can always be shortened as with any HydraSleeve.  See instructions here.