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Water: Laboratory Certification

Analytical Methods Developed by the Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water

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The Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water's Technical Support Center (TSC) is one of the EPA offices responsible for developing analytical methods for drinking water. TSC developed, or participated in the development of, many methods for determining the concentrations of chemical and microbial contaminants in drinking water.

Many of the chemical methods developed by TSC are approved for analyses of compliance or unregulated contaminant monitoring samples under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Laboratories can verify that a method is approved by checking the Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR 141). Listings of approved methods for each regulation are also available on the Analytical Methods Web page. Questions or comments about these methods should be addressed to the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791, or online.


Individual Chemical Methods Available for Download

EPA Method Number Method Title
218.7 Determination of Hexavalent Chromium in Drinking Water by Ion Chromatography with Post-Column Derivatization and UV-Visable Spectroscopic Detection PDF (31 pp, 998K)
300.11 Determination of Inorganic Anions in Drinking Water by Ion Chromatography PDF (40 pp, 408K)
302.0 Determination of Bromate in Drinking Water Using Two-Dimensional Ion Chromatography with Suppressed Conductivity Detection PDF (38 pp, 509K)
314.01 Determination of Perchlorate in Drinking Water by Ion Chromatography PDF (49 pp, 270K)
314.1 Rev 1.0 Determination of Perchlorate in Drinking Water Using Inline Column Concentration/Matrix Elimination Ion Chromatography with Suppressed Conductivity Detection PDF (38 pp, 568K)
314.2 Determination of Perchlorate in Drinking Water Using Two- Dimensional Ion Chromatography with Suppressed Conductivity Detection PDF (42 pp, 667K)
317.0 Rev. 2.0 Determination of Inorganic Oxyhalide Disinfection By-products in Drinking Water Using Ion Chromatography with the Addition of a Postcolumn Reagent for Trace Bromate Analysis PDF (49 pp, 14MB)
326.0 Determination of Inorganic Oxyhalide Disinfection By-Products in Drinking Water Using Ion Chromatography Incorporating the Addition of a Suppressor Acidified Postcolumn Reagent for Trace Bromate Analysis PDF (47 pp, 3.3MB)
327.0 Rev. 1.1 Determination of Chlorine Dioxide and Chlorite Ion in Drinking Water Using Lissamine Green B and Horseradish Peroxidase with Detection by Visible Spectrophotometry PDF (30 pp, 191K) (Typographical errors in Revision 1.0 are corrected in Sections 7.2.4.2, 7.2.5, and 7.3.1.)
331.0 Rev. 1.0 Determination of Perchlorate in Drinking Water by Liquid Chromatography Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry PDF (34 pp, 197K)
334.0 Determination of Residual Chlorine in Drinking Water Using an On-line Chlorine Analyzer PDF (24 pp, 174K)
515.31 Determination of Chlorinated Acids in Drinking Water by Liquid-Liquid Extraction, Derivatization and Gas Chromatography with Electron Capture Detection PDF (56 pp, 132K)
515.4 Determination of Chlorinated Acids in Drinking Water by Liquid-Liquid Microextraction, Derivatization, and Fast Gas Chromatography with Electron Capture Detection PDF (48 pp, 4.5MB)
523 Determination of Triazine Pesticides and their Degradates in Drinking Water by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) (PDF) (44 pp, 413K)
524.3 Measurement of Purgeable Organic Compounds in Water by Capillary Column Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry PDF(55 pp, 864K)
524.4 Measurement of Purgeable Organic Compounds in Water by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry Using Nitrogen Purge Gas PDF (62 pp, 2.14MB)
5261 Determination of Selected Semivolatile Organic Compounds in Drinking Water by Solid Phase Extraction and Capillary Column Gas Chromatography / Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) PDF (49 pp, 169K)
527 Rev. 1.0 Determination of Selected Pesticides and Flame Retardants in Drinking Water by Solid Phase Extraction and Capillary Column Gas Chromatography / Mass Spectrometry (GS/MS) PDF (44 pp, 649K)
531.2 Measurement of N-Methylcarbamoyloximes and N-Methylcarbamates in Water by Direct Aqueous Injection HPLC with Postcolumn Derivatization PDF (38 pp, 1.2MB)
5321 Determination of Phenylurea Compounds in Drinking Water by Solid Phase Extraction and High Performance Liquid Chromatography with UV Detection PDF (47 pp, 107K)
536 Determination of Triazine Pesticides and Their Degradates in Drinking Water by Liquid Chromatography Electrospray Ionization Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC/ESI-MS/MS) PDF (32 pp, 299K)
539 Determination of Hormones in Drinking Water by Solid Phase Extraction (SPE) and Liquid Chromatography Electrospray Ionization Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS/MS) PDF (37 pp, 402K)
552.3 Determination of Haloacetic Acids and Dalapon in Drinking Water by Liquid-Liquid Microextraction, Derivatization, and Gas Chromatography with Electron Capture Detection PDF (55 pp, 636K)
5561 Determination of Carbonyl Compounds in Drinking Water by Pentafluorobenzylhydroxylamine Derivatization and Capillary Gas Chromatography with Electron Capture Detection PDF (37 pp, 185K) (This method was jointly developed with EPA’s Office of Research and Development.)
556.11 Determination of Carbonyl Compounds in Drinking Water by Fast Gas Chromatography PDF (38 pp, 140K)
557 Determination of Haloacetic Acids, Bromate, and Dalapon in Drinking Water by Ion Chromatography Electrospray Ionization Tandem Mass Spectrometry (IC-ESI-MS/MS) PDF (43 pp, 1.1M)

1 This method is published in "Methods for the Determination of Organic and Inorganic Compounds in Drinking Water, Volume 1" (EPA 815-R-00-014) which is available through EPA’s digital publications National Environmental Publications Internet Site (NEPIS) database.

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Additional Chemical Methods

Additional Chemical Methods listed below are included in Methods for the Determination of Organic Chemicals in Drinking Water, Supplement III" (EPA/600/R-95/131) which is available through EPA’s digital publications National Environmental Publications Internet Site (NEPIS) database.

Most of the individual methods are also available for download from the National Environmental Methods Index (NEMI).

EPA Method Number Method Title
504.1 1,2-Dibromoethane (EDB), 1,2-Dibromo-3-Chloropropane (DBCP), and 1,2,3-Trichloropropane (123TCP) in Water by Microextraction and Gas Chromatography (Available for download from NEMI)
507 Determination of Nitrogen- and Phosphorus-Containing Pesticides in Water by Gas Chromatography with a Nitrogen-Phosphorus Detector (Available for download from NEMI)
508 Determination of Chlorinated Pesticides in Water by Gas Chromatography with an Electron Capture Detector (Available for download from NEMI)
508.1 Determination of Chlorinated Pesticides, Herbicides, and Organohalides by Liquid-Solid Extraction and Electron Capture Gas Chromatography (Available for download from NEMI)
509 Determination of Ethylene Thiourea (ETU) in Water using Gas Chromatography with a Nitrogen-Phosphorus Detector
515.1 Determination of Chlorinated Acids in Water by Gas Chromatography with an Electron Capture Detector
531.1 Measurement of N-Methylcarbamoyloximes and N-Methylcarbamates in Water by Direct Aqueous Injection HPLC with Post Column Derivatization (Available for download from NEMI)
551.1 Determination of chlorination disinfection Byproducts, Chlorinated Solvents, and Halogenated Pesticides/Herbicides in Drinking Water by Liquid-Liquid Extraction and Gas Chromatography with Electron-Capture Detection (Available for download from NEMI)
552.2 Determination of Haloacetic Acids and Dalapon in Drinking Water by Liquid-Liquid Extraction, Derivatization and Gas Chromatography with Electron Capture Detection (Available for download from NEMI)

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Individual Microbial Methods Available for Download

EPA Method Number Method Title
1605 Aeromonas in Finished Water by Membrane Filtration using Ampicillin-Dextrin Agar with Vancomycin (ADA-V) PDF (36 pp, 443K) (This method was jointly developed with EPA’s Office of Research and Development.)
1623.1 Cryptosporidium and Giardia in Water by Filtration/IMS/FA (PDF) (83 pp, 1MB)

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Lowest Concentration Minimum Reporting Level (LCMRL)

The Lowest Concentration Minimum Reporting Level (LCMRL) is defined as the lowest spiking concentration at which recovery of between 50 and 150% is expected 99% of the time by a single analyst. The LCMRL is estimated using sophisticated statistical procedures which are incorporated into this LCMRL calculator tool. The statistical tool estimates a probability distribution for spike recovery as a function of spiking concentration. This requires regression modeling that estimates expected value and expected variance for repeated measurements as functions of spiking concentration. Often this variance is an increasing function of spiking level. In this case, ordinary least squares regression is not appropriate to estimate the expected value function. Weighted least squares are used with weights proportional to the reciprocal of the expected variance, multiplied by a weight (Tukey's biweight) that gives robustness against outliers. The variance model is estimated using a Generalized Linear Model. To estimate these regressions, an experimental design with replicate spiking at multiple concentrations is required. A report describing LCMRL and the current LCMRL calculator are available electronically below.

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Workshops on Microbial Methods Development

Workshop on the Large Volume Sample Preparation for Waterborne Pathogens, April 4-5, 2006

Workshop on the Feasibility of Using DNA/RNA Microarrays and Related Technologies for High Through-Put Detection of Waterborne Pathogens, March 22-23, 2005

Workshop to Develop a Protocol for Reliable Genetic Methods for the Detection of Viruses, for Use in EPA’s Water Programs, January 15-16, 2003

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