Sampling is a key step in the analysis of chemical compounds. It is particularly important in the environmental field, for example for wastewater effluents, wet-weather discharges or streams in which the flows and concentrations vary greatly over time. In contrast to the improvements that have occurred in analytical measurement, developments in the field of sampling are less active. However, sampling errors may exceed by an order of magnitude those related to analytical processes. We proposed an Internet-based application based on a sampling theory to identify and quantify the errors in the process of taking samples. This general theory of sampling, already applied to different areas, helps to answer questions related to the number of samples, their volume, their representativeness, etc. The use of the internet to host this application facilitates use of theoretical tools and raise awareness of the uncertainties related to sampling. An example is presented, which highlights the importance of the sampling step in the quality of analytical results.
Keywords: errors, heterogeneity, reliability, sampling, uncertainties