EPA Method 501.1

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EPA Method 501.1:
The Analysis Of Trihalomethanes In Drinking Water By The Purge And Trap Method

Trihalomethanes are extracted by an inert gas which is bubbled through the aqueous sample. The trihalomethanes, along with other organic constituents which exhibit low water solubility and a vapor pressure significantly greater than water, are efficiently transferred from the aqueous phase to the gaseous phase. These compounds are swept from the purging device and are trapped in a short column containing a suitable sorbent. After a predetermined period of time, the trapped components are thermally desorbed and backflushed onto the head of a gas chromatographic column and separated under programmed conditions. Measurement is accomplished with a halogen specific detector such as electrolytic conductivity or microcoulometric titration.

This method is applicable in the determination of four trihalomethanes, i.e.chloroform, dichlorobromethane, dibromochloromethane, and bromoform in finished drinking water, raw source water, or drinking water in any stage of treatment. The concentration of these four compounds is totaled to determine total trihalomethanes (TTHM).