EPA Method 9320

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EPA Method 9320:
Radium-228 in groundwater. Official Name: Method 9320: Radium 228

The radium in the water sample is collected by coprecipitation with barium and lead sulfate and purified by reprecipitation from EDTA solution. Both radium-226 and radium-228 are collected in this manner. After a 36-hr ingrowth of actinium-228 from radium-228, the actinium-228 is carried on yttrium oxalate, purified and beta counted. If radium-226 is also desired, the activity in the supernatant can be reserved for coprecipitation on barium sulfate, dissolving in EDTA and storing for ingrowth in a sealed radon bubbler.

This method covers the measurement of radium-228 in ground water and, if desired, the determination of radium-226 on the same sample. If the level of radium-226 is above 3 pCi/L, the sample must also be measured for radium-228. This technique is devised so that the beta activity from actinium-228, which is produced by decay of radium-228, can be determined and related to the radium-228 that is present in the sample. To quantify actinium-228 and thus determine radium-228, the efficiency of the beta counter for measuring the very short half-lived actinium-228 (avg. beta energy of 0.404 keV) is to be calibrated with a beta source of comparable average beta energy.

SW-846 Online: Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste, Physical/Chemical Methods

As evidenced by the results of the performance studies, the presence of strontium-90 in the water sample gives a positive bias to the radium-228 activity measured. However, strontium-90 is not likely to be found in ground water, except possibly in monitoring wells around a radioactive burial site. Excess barium in the water sample might result in a falsely high chemical yield.

QC Requirements:
Minimum of one blank per sample batch. Include one spike duplicate for every 10 samples.



No method performance data provided in the method.


Revision Number:
September, 1986