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EPA Drinking Water Research Methods

Residues of unregulated contaminants may be present in drinking water, however little is known about their prevalence in the environment. To protect human health, EPA scientists have developed a number of EPA methods to detect unregulated contaminants.

Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)

  • Method 537.1 - Determination of Selected Per- and Polyfluorinated Alkyl Substances in Drinking Water by Solid Phase Extraction and Liquid Chromatography/Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC/MS/MS)

Cyanobacteria Toxins (Cyanotoxins)

  • Method 544 - Determination of Microcystins and Nodularin in Drinking Water by Solid Phase Extraction and Liquid Chromatography/Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC/MS/MS)
  • Method 545 - Determination of Cylindrospermopsin and Anatoxin-a in Drinking Water by Liquid Chromatography Electrospray Ionization Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC/ESI-MS/MS)
  • Method 546 - Determination of Total Microcystins and Nodularins in Drinking Water and Ambient Water by Adda Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA)

Volatile and Semivolatile Organic Compounds (VOCs and SVOCs)

  • Method 522 - Determination of 1,4-Dioxane in Drinking Water by Solid Phase Extraction (SPE) and Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) with Selected Ion Monitoring (SIM)
  • Method 525.3 - Determination of Semivolatile Organic Chemicals in Drinking Water by Solid Phase Extraction and Capillary Column Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS)
  • Method 528 - Determination of Phenols in Drinking Water by Solid Phase Extraction and Capillary Column Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS)
  • Method 529 - Determination of Explosives and Related Compounds in Drinking Water by Solid Phase Extraction and Capillary Column Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS)
  • Method 530 - Determination of Select Semivolatile Organic Chemicals in Drinking Water by Solid Phase Extraction and Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS)

Other Inorganic Contaminants

  • Method 200.5 - Determination of Trace Elements in Drinking Water by Axially Viewed Inductively Coupled Plasma - Atomic Emission Spectrometery
  • Method 332.0 - Determination of Perchlorate in Drinking Water by Ion Chromatography with Suppressed Conductivity and Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry
  • Method 521 - Determination of Nitrosamines in Drinking Water by Solid Phase Extraction and Capillary Column Gas Chromatography with Large Volume Injection and Chemical Ionization Tandem Mass Spectrometry (MS/MS)

Other Organic Contaminants

  • Method 415.3 Rev 1.2- Determination of Total Organic Carbon and Specific UV Absorbance at 254 nm in Source Water and Drinking Water
  • Method 415.3 Rev 1.1- Determination of Total Organic Carbon and Specific UV Absorbance at 254 nm in Source Water and Drinking Water
  • Method 535 Rev. 1.1 - Measurement of Chloroacetanilide and Other Acetamide Herbicide Degradates in Drinking Water by Solid Phase Extraction and Liquid Chromatography/Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC/MS/MS)
  • Method 538 - Determination of Selected Organic Contaminants in Drinking Water by Direct Aqueous Injection-Liquid Chromatography/Tandem Mass Spectrometry (DAI-LC/MS/MS)
  • Method 540 - Determination of Selected Organic Chemicals in Drinking Water by Solid Phase Extraction and Liquid Chromatography/Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC/MS/MS)
  • Method 543 - Determination of Selected Organic Chemicals in Drinking Water by On-line Solid Phase Extraction - Liquid Chromatography/Tandem Mass Spectrometry (On-line SPE - LC/MS/MS)
  • Method 556 - Determination of Carbonyl Compounds in Drinking Water by Pentafluorobenzylhydroxylamine Derivatization and Capillary Gas Chromatography with Electron Capture Detection