EPA Method 415.3

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EPA Method 415.3:
Dissolved and Total Organic Carbon and UV Absorbance at 254 nm in Source Water and Drinking Water. Official Name: Determination of Total Organic Carbon and Specific UV Absorbance at 254 nm in Source Water and Drinking Water

Summary:
TOC is determined by removing inorganic carbon, oxidizing the remaining carbon to carbon dioxide using combustion or chemical oxidation with persulfate, and measuring the carbon dioxide produced using a conductivity detector or nondispersive infrared detector. DOC is determined similarly to TOC, but the sample is filtered through a 0.45 um filter prior to oxidation.UVA is measured by filtering a sample with a 0.45 um filter and measuring absorbance at 254 nm. SUVA is calculated by dividing UVA by DOC and multiplying by an appropriate unit correction factor as described in Section 12.2 of the method.

Scope:
This method provides procedures for the determination of total organic carbon (TOC), dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and UV absorption at 254 nm (UVA), and Specific UV Absorbance (SUVA) in source waters and drinking waters.

Citation:
EPA Web site for Analytical Methods for Drinking Water

Interferences:
(A) Carbon contamination from air and water: Foam and mist from the operation of water treatment plants introduce organic carbon into the air, as can petroleum products and dispersal of dust by work traffic. Laboratory water systems can become contaminated due to bacterial break through from resin beds, activated carbon, and filters. Air filtering systems and reduction of work traffic can reduce the level of organic carbon in the air. A 0.22 um water filter can be used to prevent bacterial contamination of water. In addition, all glassware must be scrupulously cleaned, and lab reagent and field blanks can be used to determine the success of contamination prevention measures.(B) Non-carbon contaminants: Source waters containing ionic iron, nitrates, nitrites, and bromide have been reported to interfere with measurements of UVA. Analysts should flag data if they suspect contamination from one of these interferences.(C) Chloride: Chloride exceeding 250 mg/L may interfere with persulfate oxidations methods.(D) Inorganic carbon: Inorganic carbon in the sample must be removed to determine organic carbon accurately.

QC Requirements:
Each laboratory using the method is required to operate a formal quality control (QC) program. Specific QC requirements include an initial demonstration of laboratory capability (IDC) followed by regular analyses of continuing calibration checks (CCC), independent quality control samples (QCS), laboratory reagent blanks (LRB), field duplicates (FD), and laboratory fortified matrix samples (LFM). In addition, analysis of DOC and UVA requires the use of filter blanks (FB).

Maximum Holding Time:
TOC, DOC: 28 days. UVA: 48 hours

Media:
WATER

Subcategory:
Organic

Concentration:
0-50 mg/L calibration

Precision:
Data were generated using catalyzed, 680oC combustion with non-dispersive infrared detection (See Section 17.2.4, Instrument 4). Precision and accuracy are based on analyses of three replicate ambient water samples from Boulder Creek, fortified at 10 mg-organic carbon/L with potassium hydrogen phthalte. Additional data are available in the method.

Detection:
The three day, pooled organic carbon detection limit (OCDL) is based on the detection limit calculation referenced in Glasser et al., "Trace Analyses for Wastewaters," Environ. Sci. Technol., 1981, 15(12) 1426-34. Different TOC instruments have produced OCDLs ranging from 0.02 to 0.12 mg-OC/L. The listed OCDL is for catalyzed, 680oC combustion with non-dispersive infrared detection (Instrument 4). Additional DLs are available in the method.

Revision Number:
Revision 1.0, June 2003