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The importance of quality control in validating concentrationsof contaminants of emerging concern in source and treateddrinking water samples

February 1, 2017

A national-scale survey of 247 contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), including organic and inorganic chemical
compounds, andmicrobial contaminants, was conducted in source and treated drinkingwater samples from
25 treatment plants across the United States.Multiplemethodswere used to determine these CECs, including six
analytical methods tomeasure 174 pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and pesticides. A three-component
quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) programwas designed for the subset of 174 CECswhich allowed us to
assess and compare performances of themethods used. The three components included: 1) a common field QA/
QC protocol and sample design, 2) individual investigator-developed method-specific QA/QC protocols, and 3) a
suite of 46method comparison analytes thatwere determined in two or more analytical methods. Overallmethod
performance for the 174 organic chemical CECs was assessed by comparing spiked recoveries in reagent,
source, and treated water over a two-year period. In addition to the 247 CECs reported in the larger drinking
water study, another 48 pharmaceutical compoundsmeasured did not consistentlymeet predetermined quality
standards. Methodologies that did not seem suitable for these analytes are overviewed. The need to exclude
analytes based on method performance demonstrates the importance of additional QA/QC protocols.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2017
Title The importance of quality control in validating concentrationsof contaminants of emerging concern in source and treateddrinking water samples
DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.02.127
Authors Angela L. Batt, Edward T. Furlong, Heath E. Mash, Susan T. Glassmeyer, Dana W. Kolpin
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Science of the Total Environment
Series Number
Index ID 70182735
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Branch of Analytical Serv (NWQL)