WEF Discussions — Now on LinkedIn!

WEF is pleased to announce the creation of free LinkedIn groups associated with its technical discussion forum topics. Through these LinkedIn groups, members will be able to view and participate in discussions, as well as communicate with one another via direct messages. Share your experiences and knowledge, ask questions and respond to other discussions as frequently as you like!

You must have a LinkedIn profile to join a LinkedIn group; you can create your profile here. If you already have a LinkedIn profile, all you need to do is submit a request to join one or all of the following groups:

Water Environment Federation (Main) | Biosolids | Collection Systems | Nutrients | Stormwater 
Utility Management | Water Reuse | Water for Jobs | Watershed Management | Laboratory Practices 

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Sample Bar Coding?
Jason Graham
Posted: Thursday, February 17, 2011 5:31 PM
Joined: 2/17/2011
Posts: 7

Anyone help me out with the following questions?  Thanks!


Do you have a bar-coding system for tracking samples that you are happy with?


If yes, do you use it for:

  • Internal sample tracking?
  • Inventory of lab/chemical supplies?
  • Asset management control (life cycle of instrumentation)?  

Does it meet chain of custody requirements for in lab sample control?


Is it a stand alone system?  If yes, who is the manufacturer?


Is it integrated into a LIMS system?  If yes, who is the manufacturer?



Charles Lytle
Posted: Wednesday, March 2, 2011 7:42 AM
Joined: 10/5/2009
Posts: 49



Sorry this posting is so late.


We use barcoding for COC and for entering info into our instruments.  The capability came with our LIMS:  Element by Promium (Bothel, WA).


When we upgraded our LIMS, we made a concerted effort to move away from paper and hand-entered data, from log-in info to results.  The bar coding was a natural part of this effort.


We found, though, that you have to be fairly careful with the type of bar code reader you buy.  They are made to read at various distances.  We had to try a couple of models before we found the type that worked best for us.  Our codes are one-dimensional, that is they're really just a set of bars, not a 2D "speckle."


And we've been very pleased with performance, efficiency gains, and reduction in hand-entry errors.


Added later:  I forgot to add that we use bar coding on all sample labels, too.  The labels are printed out at sample log-in, and the analysts read the codes off the labels at the instruments.


Chuck Lytle,

City of Portland, OR

Jarrett Thomas
Posted: Monday, April 16, 2012 11:52 AM
Joined: 2/7/2011
Posts: 1

We have tried a couple of bar code readers with mixed results.  What reader did you end of with?
Charles Lytle
Posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 8:56 AM
Joined: 10/5/2009
Posts: 49

We went with the WASP WL S9500.  Reasons:  (1) good compromise between sensitivity and readable distance; (2) uses a cord (we found the rechargeable battery readers to go dead too often);  (3) good service from the company; (4) reasonable cost.


Chuck Lytle,

City of Portland, OR