What are Kemmerer bottles?

Based on a 1927 design by Dr. George Kemmerer, University of Wisconsin, the Kemmerer bottle has long been favored by limnologists and fishery biologists. With few moving parts and a foolproof trip, it offers a trouble-free life.

Clear acrylic cylinders have the advantage of being transparent: you can see the sample before removal. You can also install thermometers inside acrylic samplers. Because acrylic scratches, cases are recommended.

Kemmerers come in durable stainless steel, unlike Alpha and Beta™ samplers, which have plastic main tubes only.

A key feature in the Kemmerer is the automatic lock which keeps stoppers open before the sampler is lowered. The seals close by dropping a messenger. When the sampler is closed, the entire weight of the sampler and contents is carried upon the lower valve. This forces the sampler to sit securely on the lower valve and prevents water leakage. A drain in the bottom stopper draws off water for analysis.

The distinctive patented trip head works reliably with air drops 1 m (39”) to 15 m (50 feet). We call it the All-Angle™ because, as the name implies, you can strike it up to 90°. It is particularly useful in fast flowing streams where the current may push the messenger. This trip works only if your sampler is on a taut line. Otherwise the messenger may not slide down fast enough to close the bottle.

The All-Angle™ trip head comes in four forms: our standard polyurethane; stainless steel; machined teflon for our top-of-the line teflon sampler; and a special size for our well samplers. A special variant of the polyurethane (PU) All-Angle™ is used with our 1500 series Kemmerers on page 32. Delrin plastic fasteners and an O-ring replace the stainless steel garter spring in the trip head on these bottles.

The All-Angle™ is not all things to all samplers, however. It is not suitable for long air drops. When sampling from an elevation such as a bridge, we suggest the 1270-l40 Tugger™ trip, which does not need a messenger. (Page 32.)

The stainless steel or teflon trips and bottles are used when solvents, high temperature or other conditions preclude the use of a polyurethane trip. In these cases, you will also need silicone or teflon seals to avoid organic compounds or withstand high temperatures. Teflon, for instance, can be used in temperatures up to 230° C (450° F).