Aug 05, 2016

New ASTM Standard Will Promote Drinking Water Safety

D8001 to simultaneously analyze total nitrogen, phosphorus

drinking water, regulation, ASTM, nitrogen, phosphorus

A new ASTM standard will be used to help ensure the safety of drinking water. The new standard will allow for the simultaneous analysis of total nitrogen and total phosphorus in water. The standard will be published as D8001, Test Method for Determination of Total Nitrogen, Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen by Calculation, and Total Phosphorus in Water and Waste Water by Ion Chromatography. The standard was developed by a subcommittee of ASTM International Committee D19 on Water.

ASTM member Richard Jack of Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. notes that nitrogen and phosphorus are essential nutrients; however, an excess amount of these elements can cause algal blooms and lead to the generation of toxic microcystins.

“Freshwater sources for drinking water often become contaminated, which results in cities closing down their drinking water supply,” said Jack. “This method will help assess impacts from water treatment and agricultural runoffs that result in excess nutrients in waterways.”

According to Jack, the new method can be easily incorporated into existing ion chromatography methods by adding an inexpensive digestion step. The new standard benefits parties investigating nutrient runoff and water quality, and drinking and wastewater treatment operators.

All interested parties are invited to participate in a projected round robin study to validate the new standard.

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