Assessment of TOC analytical accuracy

350 210 Stroud Water Research Center

Kaplan, L.A., and G.R. Aiken. 2004. American Water Works Association, Denver, Colorado.

ISBN: 9781843398455


Utilities are required to measure TOC concentrations in treatment plant influents and waters that contain a variety of dissolved molecules and organic particles. Uncertainties about the analytical accuracy of TOC measurements are the result of inadequate proficiency evaluation standards. The three primary research goals of the project were to: (1) develop total organic carbon (TOC) standards that can be used with all TOC methodologies to evaluate performance; (2) determine the ability of different TOC methodologies to accurately measure TOC; (3) test the ruggedness of the proficiency standards in a round-robin survey involving a large number of laboratories. A fourth goal was to determine the contribution of natural organic particles and suspended organic carbon (SOC) in the formation of DBPs. In general, all laboratories performed well in the analysis of an easily oxidized standard, potassium hydrogen phthalate (KHP). In contrast, several analysts had difficulty in efficiently separating an inorganic C (IC) amendment from the KHP standard when a 30 mg IC/L spike was added to the standard.