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PFAS Testing Services

Ground, Surface, & Wastewater

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PFAS in Ground, Surface, & Wastewater

We offer analysis of PFAS in well water, surface water, and wastewater for 40 PFAS compounds using draft method 1633 which includes all PFAS in EPA drinking water methods 533 and 537.1.

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Draft EPA Method 1633

Regulatory attention is shifting to identifying PFAS in these matrices (ground, surface, and wastewater) where they can be present in a wide range of concentrations and contain other contaminants which can interfere with the measurements.

In September 2021, the EPA published Draft Method 1633 – Analysis of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (“PFAS”) in Aqueous, Solid, Biosolids, and Tissue Samples by LC-MS/MS.  Once finalized, this method can be used to test for 40 PFAS compounds (including Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), Perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and Perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS)) in wastewater, surface water, groundwater, soil, biosolids, sediment, landfill leachate, and fish tissue.  

Draft EPA 1633 is intended to eventually eliminate the use of “modified” drinking water methods and non-standard, in-house laboratory standard operating procedures. The list of PFAS in EPA 1633 draft includes all PFAS in existing EPA drinking water methods 533, 537.1, and the screening method 8327. The list of analytes for EPA 1633 can be found here.

For whom is the 1633 method useful?

This method, once finalized, will be useful for companies and other entities who must measure for PFAS-related compliance or monitoring obligations in National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits.  As discussed by EPA in its PFAS FAQs, while many laboratories use EPA Methods 537.1 and 533 to analyze for NPDES purposes, neither method is officially approved by EPA for use outside of the drinking water context.

EPA’s draft method will also be useful for organizations investigating or remediating PFOA, PFOS, or PFBS in groundwater, soil, surface water, biosolids, sediment, landfill leachate, or fish tissue.

In its announcement, the EPA explained that it is encouraging NPDES permitting agencies to use Draft Method 1633 even though the method has not yet been promulgated. Although EPA has not announced a timetable for promulgating Draft Method 1633, the agency’s announcement suggests it may happen soon.

What is the implication of this method for regulatory compliance?

As per the EPA, while this method will not yet be required for Clean Water Act compliance monitoring until it has been proposed and promulgated through rulemaking, the EPA encourages laboratories, regulatory authorities, and other interested parties to review and begin using the draft method. The Department of Defense, in collaboration with the EPA Office of Water and Office of Land and Emergency Management, anticipates completing a multi-laboratory validation study of the procedure in 2022, the results of which will be used to finalize the method and to add formal performance criteria.

Check out our data: Four surface water samples from across Delaware by EPA draft method 1633

1633 analytes in Delaware Surface water
1633 analysis for DE surface water: one site