Drinking Water Package

Primary Drinking Water– The National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWR) can be found at http://www.epa.gov/safewater/contaminants/index.html.  They include microorganisms such as HPC, Legionella, and coliform bacteria, Disinfection By-Products such as bromate, organic compounds such as Haloacetic Acids (HAA5) and Total Trihalomethanes (TTHM), Inorganic Chemicals such as certain metals, asbestos, cyanide, nitrate, and nitrite, Organic Chemicals including semivolatiles, volatiles, pesticides, PCBs, and herbicides.


Drinking Water.  The National Secondary Drinking Water Regulations (NSDWR) are non-enforceable guidelines that include aluminum, chloride, color, surfactants, odor, pH, silver, and TDS. These may cause cosmetic effects (such as skin or tooth discoloration) or aesthetic effects (such as taste, odor, or color) in drinking water.
Phase I, II, III.  When someone buys a property, they hire a consultant to check for any potential liability such as asbestos, underground storage tanks, or any contaminated sites such as super fund sites in the nearby area. This is a quick survey. This is called doing a phase-I survey.  If any contamination is found, then samples of soil, ground water, more asbestos, and lead samples are taken. This is called Phase-II.  If a contamination is confirmed, the site has to be remediated. This is called phase-III.  Typical tests done for Phase I and II are TPH, BTEX, VOC, SVOC, and metals.

  1. The most common tests that A&B Labs performs. Contains approximate ratios by quantity. For example, A&B Labs performs 4 metals by ICP-AES in water for every two metals in soil for every one metals in air.
Analysis Matrices Client Type
Metals by ICP-AES 4:2:1 water:soil:air Industrial plants, WWTP
TCLP Metals by ICP-AES TCLP Extract Waste haulers
Mercury 1:1 water:soil Industrial plants, WWTP
TCLP Mercury TCLP Extract Waste haulers
Coliform bacteria (total, fecal, and E. coli) 1:1 water:drinking water WWTP, schools
Enterococcus bacteria water WWTP, schools
Volatile Organics 2.5:1 water:soil Industrial plants, Emergency Responders, consultants
TCLP Volatiles TCLP Extract Waste haulers
Semivolatile Organics 2:1 water:soil Industrial plants, Emergency Responders, consultants
TCLP Semivolatiles TCLP Extract Waste haulers
BTEX 1:1 water:soil Industrial plants, Emergency Responders, consultants
PCBs 1:1 water:soil Waste haulers
TPH_1005 2:1 soil:water Waste haulers
Anions by Ion Chromatography 3:1 water:soil Industrial plants, consultants
BOD / CBOD water Industrial plants, WWTP
TSS water Industrial plants, WWTP
COD water Industrial plants, WWTP
Cyanide (total and amenable to chlorination) water Industrial plants, WWTP
Ammonia water Industrial plants, WWTP
% Moisture / % Solids water Industrial plants, WWTP
Ignitability waste (may be liquid or solid) Industrial plants, WWTP, waste haulers
Oil & Grease water Industrial plants, WWTP, restaurants
Reactivity (both cyanide & sulfide) waste (may be liquid or solid) Industrial plants, WWTP, waste haulers

Miscellaneous Definitions
Total RCRA metals – The total concentration of 8 metals of special concern for disposal. These eight are arsenic (As), barium (Ba), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), lead (Pb), selenium (Se), silver (Ag), and mercury (Hg).
TCLP RCRA metals – Those same 8 metals are analyzed after a special extraction that simulates the changes in a landfill.
TCLP – Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure. This special extraction is meant to simulate the changes in a landfill.  After this TCLP extraction, the sample extract can be tested for Volatile Organics, Semivolatile Organics, Pesticides, Herbicides, or the above 8 metals.  In this test take 100 grams of the waste and extract in a liquid, acetic acid solution for 18 hrs (overnight) and analyze the extract for 42 components.  If any of the components are above the government defined TCLP limit it is classified as hazardous.  Sometimes clients may want a TCLP metals analysis done on other metals as well.
Dissolved Metals – A metals analysis performed after the sample has been filtered through a 0.45 micron filter.  Filtration must be done before preservation with nitric acid.
TCLP TX335 – This Texas rule applies the USEPA TCLP extraction procedure to 11 metals, plus additional volatiles, semivolatiles, pesticides, herbicides, 8015 (mostly organic alcohols), and 8316 (acrylomide).
Holding Times – These are the maximum allowable times from sample collection to sample analysis for each test.  They are determined by USEPA and differ for different matrices. For example, the holding time for Total Suspended Solids (TSS) in water is 7 days. The holding time for semivolatile organics in water is 7 days until extraction and another 40 days until analysis.
Short Holds – A&B Labs defines any analysis with a holding time of less than or equal to 48 hours as a short hold.  These analyses must be done very quickly upon arrival so A&B Labs requires them to be given immediately to the analyst.  They include turbidity, orthophosphate, nitrite-N, nitrate-N, color, and BOD/CBOD which all have a water holding time of only 48 hours. Coliform bacteria in drinking water is 30 hours.  Coliform bacteria and other microbiological parameters have a holding time in wastewater of a measly 6 hours.  Hexavalent chromium in water is only 24 hours.  Finally many tests in water are meant to be done in the field (such as temperature, pH, DO, and chlorine) and therefore have a holding time of 15 minutes.  A complication to always remember is that any test can become a short hold if the client held on to it long enough.

Drinking Water Package

  • TDS
  • Total Coliform Bacteria
  • Heterotropic Plate Count
  • NPDWR Metals (11)
  • NSDWR Metals (5)
  • Anions (5)