Development and Validation of Methods to Provide Analytical Support for the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Regulation (UMCR 2) for Public Water Systems, 01-R9693

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Principal Investigators
Lorraine G. Scheller
Alice Y. Yau
Michelle M. Zuniga

Inclusive Dates:  03/20/07 – 07/20/07

Background - The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) requires the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to administer a program to monitor unregulated contaminants in public water systems and to publish the list of contaminants to be monitored. This list is updated every five years. EPA has published the second list of unregulated contaminants, Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Regulation 2 (UCMR 2), and has established chemical analytical methods to be used to determine the presence of these compounds. The SwRI laboratory validated four EPA methods set forth in UCMR 2. This included conducting precision, accuracy, and minimum reporting level studies (MRL) studies for all UCMR 2 analytes and methods and completing analysis of Proficiency Testing (PT) samples.

Approach - The EPA methods to be validated are: EPA Method 525.2, Determination of Organic Compounds in Drinking Water by Liquid-Solid Extraction and Capillary Column Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS); EPA Method 527, Determination of Selected Pesticides and Flame Retardants in Drinking Water by Solid Phase Extraction and Capillary Column Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS); EPA Method 529, Determination of Explosives and Related Compounds in Drinking Water by Solid Phase Extraction and Capillary Column Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS); and EPA Method 535, Measurement of Chloroacetanilide and Chloroacetamide Herbicide Degradants in Drinking Water by Solid Phase Extraction and HPLC/MS/MS.

An initial demonstration of the laboratory’s ability to perform each method was completed through the following steps:

  • Initial Demonstration of Low System Background
  • Initial Demonstration of Precision (IDP)
  • Initial Demonstration of Accuracy (IDA)
  • Minimum Reporting Level (MRL) Verification

Upon completion of these steps, the results and supporting documentation were sent to the EPA, and performance evaluation samples were analyzed to verify accuracy of the methods.

Accomplishments - SwRI received certification for performing methods 535 and 529 in August 2007. Methods 525.2 and 527 were approved and certified October 2007. The solid-phase extraction techniques developed and validated in these methods can be used for other chemically similar compounds resulting in lower detection limits for these compounds, less analytical lab generated waste, and improved extraction efficiencies.

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