Particulates that move with ground water and those that are artificially mobilized during well purging could be incorporated into water samples during collection and could cause trace-element concentrations to vary in unfiltered samples, and possibly in filtered samples (typically 0.45-um (micron) pore size) as well, depending on the particle-size fractions present. Therefore, measured concentrations may not be representative of those in the aquifer. Ground water may contain particles of various sizes and shapes that are broadly classified as colloids, which do not settle from water, and particulates, which do. In order to investigate variations in trace-element concentrations in ground-water samples as a function of particle concentrations and particle-size fractions, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Air Force, collected samples from five wells completed in the unconfined, oxic Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer system of the New Jersey Coastal Plain. Samples were collected by purging with a portable pump at low flow (0.2-0.5 liters per minute and minimal drawdown, ideally less than 0.5 foot). Unfiltered samples were collected in the following sequence: (1) within the first few minutes of pumping, (2) after initial turbidity declined and about one to two casing volumes of water had been purged, and (3) after turbidity values had stabilized at less than 1 to 5 Nephelometric Turbidity Units. Filtered samples were split concurrently through (1) a 0.45-um pore size capsule filter, (2) a 0.45-um pore size capsule filter and a 0.0029-um pore size tangential-flow filter in sequence, and (3), in selected cases, a 0.45-um and a 0.05-um pore size capsule filter in sequence. Filtered samples were collected concurrently with the unfiltered sample that was collected when turbidity values stabilized. Quality-assurance samples consisted of sequential duplicates (about 25 percent) and equipment blanks. Concentrations of particles were determined by light scattering.