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Water: Cyanide

Available Cyanide in Water (Method OIA-1677) [draft]

Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.

Fact Sheet; EPA-821-F-98-001; January 1998

EPA is proposing in the Federal Register a method that will improve EPA's capability to accurately measure available cyanide in wastewater through use of a ligand exchange/flow injection/amperometric technique. This method is being proposed for approval for use in wastewater at 40 CFR part 136.


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) publishes laboratory analytical methods that are used by industrial and municipal facilities in analyzing the chemical and biological components of wastewater, drinking water, and sediment. This type of environmental sampling is required by EPA regulations under the authority of the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Method OIA-1677 was developed by ALPKEM, a Division of OI Analytical, in cooperation with the University of Nevada Reno Mackay School of Mines, as a way to measure available cyanide without the interference problems of the currently approved available cyanide methods.

EPA is proposing Method OIA-1677 as another testing procedure for compliance monitoring under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System; ambient water quality monitoring; development of effluent limitations guidelines; and general laboratory use. This rulemaking does not propose to repeal any of the currently approved methods that test for available cyanide. Each permitting authority must decide which method is appropriate for its needs.

This proposal would amend the Guidelines Establishing Test Procedures for the Analysis of Pollutants under section 304(h) of the Clean Water Act to augment currently approved available cyanide test procedures with EPA Method OIA-1677: Available Cyanide by Flow Injection with Ligand Exchange.

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Method OIA-1677

Benefits of Method OIA-1677
  • Elimination of potential interferences
  • Lower detection limit
  • Better accuracy and precision
  • Improved laboratory safety
  • Lower costs of environmental measurements through a rapid automated process
  • Reduction of hazardous chemical use and associated waste generation

Method OIA-1677 provides another procedure for available cyanide. Samples are treated with a ligand exchange solution to liberate available cyanide which is then introduced into an automated flow-injection analysis system for measurement of the liberated cyanides.

Method OIA-1677 contains QC acceptance criteria for all standardized QC tests. Compliance with these criteria will allow the data user to evaluate the quality of the results. This requirement increases the reliability of results and provides a means to monitor analytical performance, thereby providing a basis for sound, defensible data.

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Additional Information and Copies

For further information concerning this draft rule, please contact the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 4303T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460 at 202-566-1000.

The final rule is available.

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