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Analytical Methods

We publish laboratory analytical methods that are used by industries and municipalities to analyze the chemical and biological components of wastewater, drinking water, sediment, and other environmental samples that are required by regulations under the authority of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). Almost all of these methods are published as regulations at Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

Procedures for Detection and Quantitation - Notice of Document Availability, Proposed Rule Withdrawal, and Feasibility of a Potential Stakeholder Process (November 1, 2004) New

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, Sampling, and Monitoring Procedures; Proposed Rule (April 6, 2004)

Methods for Biological Pollutants in Ambient Water; Final Rule (July 21, 2003)

Method 1664 (Oil and Grease) Frequently Asked Questions (updated April 1, 2003)

Whole Effluent Toxicity (WET) Methods
Final regulation concerning the use of whole effluent toxicity test methods to protect aquatic life in National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System data gathering and compliance monitoring under the Clean Water Act.

Method 1631: Guidelines Establishing Test Procedures for the Analysis of Pollutants; Measurement of Mercury in Water
This method allows for the determination of mercury at a minimum level of 0.5 parts-per-trillion and supports measurements for mercury published in the National Toxics Rule and in the Final Water Quality Guidance for the Great Lakes System.

Administrative Determination:
EPA Clarifies that Ferric Ferrocyanide is one of the "Cyanides" in the Clean Water Act's List of Toxic Pollutants

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; Methods Update; Final Rule. (October 23, 2002)
Updated versions of analytical methods developed by the American Society for Testing Materials, Standard Methods, AOAC International, the USGS, and the Department of Energy for use in CWA and SDWA compliance monitoring Programs.

Methods for Organic Chemical Analysis
This collection contains Methods 601 - 613, 624, 625, 1624, 1625.

Evaluation of Dredged Material Proposed for Discharge in Waters of the U.S. - Testing Manual

Method 1600: Membrane Filter Test Method for Enterococci in Water
Provides a direct count of bacteria in water based on the development of colonies on the surface of the membrane filter. A water sample is filtered through the membrane which retains the bacteria and the membrane containing the bacterial cells is placed on a selective medium, mEI agar, and incubated.

Method 1613: Analysis of Dioxins and Furans in Wastewater
Extends minimum levels of quantitation of chlorine-substituted dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (CDDs/CDFs) into the low parts-per-quadrillion range for aqueous matrices and the low parts-per-trillion range for solid matrices. The method specifies the use of HRGC/HRMS for detection and quantitation of CDDs/CDFs.

Method 1622: Cryptosporidium in Water by Filtration/IMS/FA
Describes the Method used to reliably determine the presence of Cryptosporidium at low concentrations. Distribution of the document at this time allows utilities, laboratories and others to obtain a first hand understanding of how this new method works.

Method 1623: Cryptosporidium and Giardia in Water by Filtration/IMS/FA (PDF, 1.2MB)
A performance-based method applicable to the determination of Cryptosporidium and Giardia in aqueous matrices. (April 2001)

Method 1664: N-Hexane Extractable Material (HEM) and Silica Gel Treated N-Hexane Extractable Material (SGT-HEM) by Extraction and Gravimetry (Oil and Grease and Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons)
Final regulations will replace Freon-113 with n-hexane as a solvent in laboratory methods that test for the presence of oil and grease and total petroleum hydrocarbons in wastewater discharges. This will reduce the amount of chloroflourocarbons (CFCs) that are released to the atmosphere.

Method OIA-1677: Available Cyanide by Flow Injection with Ligand Exchange
A method to accurately measure available cyanide in wastewater through use of a ligand exchange/flow injection technique. This final rule amends the Guidelines Establishing Test Procedures for the Analysis of Pollutants under section 304(h) of the Clean Water Act to augment currently approved cyanide test procedures.

Guidelines and Format for Methods to be Proposed at 40 CFR Part 136 or Part 141
These proposed guidelines have been prepared to promote consistency among analytical methods and to streamline the method promulgation process. This document is presented in four sections that describe standard elements that must be included in the method, required method format, conventions to be used when preparing the method, and required method content.

Methods for Sampling and Analyzing Contaminants in Fish and Shellfish Tissue
Provides overall guidance on methods for sampling and analyzing contaminants in fish and shellfish. This guidance was developed to promote consistency in data states use in issuing fish consumption advisories.

Streamlining Test Methods Approval Program

Water Pollution and Water Supply Study Performance
Twice a year from 1993 to 1999, water supply studies were conducted for drinking water and wastewater to help ensure high quality performance by environmental laboratories. These documents describe the studies and provide analyte and method-specific regressions fitting to precision and bias statistics that were developed from the data in the studies.

Lake Michigan Mass Balance Study Methods
Describes the sampling and analytical methods used in the Lake Michigan Mass Balance Study Methods Compendium. The compendium is organized into three volumes that describe sampling procedures used in the study and analytical procedures used by the Principal Investigators.

Alternate Test Procedures
Both the Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water Acts require that we approve methods for measuring substances in wastewater and drinking water. EPA-approved methods are listed in the Code of Federal Regulations at 40 CFR part 136 for wastewater and at 40 CFR part 141 for drinking water. In addition, people or companies may ask that EPA approve a new method or an alternate test procedure (ATP). EPA encourages the development of new methods and ATPs to improve performance, reduce complexity and costs, decrease hazardous materials in the laboratory, and better protect human health and the environment. While the following ATPs were not issued as federal requirements, they are helpful guidance for laboratories.

EPA Microbiological Alternate Test Procedure (ATP) Protocol for Drinking Water, Ambient Water, and Wastewater Monitoring Methods -- Guidance -- July 2003 (EPA 821-B-03-004) (PDF, 2.6M)

Protocol for EPA Approval of New Methods for Organic and Inorganic Analytes in Wastewater and Drinking Water - March 1999 (EPA 821-B-98-003) (PDF, 1.9M)

Protocol for EPA Approval of Alternate Test Procedures for Organic and Inorganic Analytes in Wastewater and Drinking Water - March 1999 (EPA 821-B-98-002) (PDF, 1.9M)

Additional Methods can be ordered through the Water Shopping Cart Database

Test Methods Index
Lists hundreds of test methods used by US environmental labs.


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