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Water: CWA Methods

Test Procedures for the Analysis of Pollutants

Methods Update Rule

Guidelines Establishing Test Procedures for the Analysis of Pollutants Under the Clean Water Act; National Primary Drinking Water Regulations; and National Secondary Drinking Water Regulations; Analysis and Sampling Procedures

The final rule revises the list of approved analysis and sampling procedures in wastewater and drinking water regulations that we proposed for public comment in August 2003 and April 2004.


Fact Sheet; EPA 821-F-06-005; July 2006

EPA is adding and updating procedures for sampling and analysis in wastewater and drinking water. These revisions for analytical methods provide additional choices to the set of EPA approved methods for measuring pollutants. The newly approved methods also reflect improvements in science and technology and, in some instances, offer more cost-effective ways to monitor for compliance.

Background

EPA approved sampling procedures and analytical methods used by industrial and municipal facilities to determine chemical, microbiological, and radiological components of wastewater and drinking water as required by the Clean Water Act (CWA) and Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). Facilities use these methods to demonstrate compliance with permits under the CWA and SDWA.

EPA revised the list of approved methods periodically based on information from the Alternate Test Procedures approval process, from the public, from Voluntary Consensus Standards Bodies (VCSB), and from vendors.

In August 2003 and April 2004, EPA proposed to approve a number of new and revised analytical methods. The proposed changes included:

  • the addition of vendor-developed methods;
  • new EPA and VCSB methods;
  • updated versions of currently approved methods;
  • revised method modification and analytical requirements;
  • withdrawal of certain outdated methods; and
  • changes to sample collection, preservation, and holding time requirements.

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Summary of Final Rule

This rule amends EPA's wastewater permit program--the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (at 40 CFR part 122) to:

  • clarify the use of analytical methods;
  • correct inconsistencies in sampling requirements, and
  • add E. coli and Enterococci to the list of parameters.

This rule amends the Guidelines Establishing Test Procedures for the Analysis of Pollutants (at 40 CFR part 136) to:

  • approve new methods submitted by stakeholders;
  • correct errors to tables;
  • clarify method requirements; and
  • withdraw outdated methods.

This rule amends the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (at 40 CFR part 141) to:

  • approve new methods submitted by stakeholders;
  • standardize methods; and
  • clarify method requirements.

This rule amends the National Secondary Drinking Water Regulations (at 40 CFR part 143) to approve new methods.

This rule amends the General Pretreatment Regulations for Existing and New Sources of Pollution (at 40 CFR part 403) to:

  • correct inconsistencies in sampling requirements; and
  • approve a new method.

Finally, this rule amends the effluent guidelines for Pesticide Chemicals (at 40 CFR part 455) to:

  • correct a table; and
  • replace a method.

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Additional Information and Copies

You can learn more about the methods for wastewater by contacting Meghan Hessenauer, Engineering and Analysis Division (4303T), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water, Office of Science and Technology, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20460.

You can learn more about the methods for drinking water by contacting Patricia Snyder Fair, Technical Support Center (MC-140), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water, Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water, 26 West Martin Luther King Drive, Cincinnati, Ohio 45268.

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