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EPA Approves 21 Alternative Test Methods

EPA has recently approved alternative testing methods for use in measuring the levels of contaminants in drinking water and determining compliance with national primary drinking water regulations.  When EPA determines that an alternative analytical method is “equally effective” (i.e., as effective as a method that has already been promulgated in the regulations), SDWA allows EPA to approve the use of the alternative method through publication in the Federal Register.   EPA is using this streamlined authority to make 21 additional methods available for analyzing drinking water samples.
The new expedited methods include 3 ASTM international methods (chloride, mercury, inorganics) and methods developed by vendors for coliform bacteria (a media from IDEXX and an automated system from Veolia), chlorine residual (from Hach), chlorine dioxide and chlorite (from Palintest).  The rest are online versions of existing Standard Methods.  By means of this rule, these 21 methods are added to Appendix A to Subpart C of 40 CFR Part 141.  The new methods are also listed along with other methods similarly approved through previous expedited actions on EPA’s drinking water methods website.