thumbnail

Quality-assurance results for routine water analyses in U.S. Geological Survey laboratories, water year 1998

Water-Resources Investigations Report 2000-4176

By:
, ,

Links

Abstract

The U.S. Geological Survey operates a quality-assurance program based on the analyses of reference samples for two laboratories: the National Water Quality Laboratory and the Quality of Water Service Unit. Reference samples that contain selected inorganic, nutrient, and low-level constituents are prepared and submitted to the laboratory as disguised routine samples. The program goal is to estimate precision and bias for as many analytical methods offered by the participating laboratories as possible. Blind reference samples typically are submitted at a rate of 2 to 5 percent of the annual environmental-sample load for each constituent. The samples are distributed to the laboratories throughout the year. The reference samples are subject to the identical laboratory handling, processing, and analytical procedures as those applied to environmental samples and, therefore, have been used as an independent source to verify bias and precision of laboratory analytical methods and ambient water-quality measurements. The results are stored permanently in the National Water Information System and the Blind Sample Project's data base. During water year 1998, 95 analytical procedures were evaluated at the National Water Quality Laboratory and 63 analytical procedures were evaluated at the Quality of Water Service Unit. An overall evaluation of the inorganic and low-level constituent data for water year 1998 indicated 77 of 78 analytical procedures at the National Water Quality Laboratory met the criteria for precision. Silver (dissolved, inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry) was determined to be imprecise. Five of 78 analytical procedures showed bias throughout the range of reference samples: chromium (dissolved, inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry), dissolved solids (dissolved, gravimetric), lithium (dissolved, inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry), silver (dissolved, inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry), and zinc (dissolved, inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry). At the National Water Quality Laboratory during water year 1998, lack of precision was indicated for 2 of 17 nutrient procedures: ammonia as nitrogen (dissolved, colorimetric) and orthophosphate as phosphorus (dissolved, colorimetric). Bias was indicated throughout the reference sample range for ammonia as nitrogen (dissolved, colorimetric, low level) and nitrate plus nitrite as nitrogen (dissolved, colorimetric, low level). All analytical procedures tested at the Quality of Water Service Unit during water year 1998 met the criteria for precision. One of the 63 analytical procedures indicated a bias throughout the range of reference samples: aluminum (whole-water recoverable, inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry, trace).

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Quality-assurance results for routine water analyses in U.S. Geological Survey laboratories, water year 1998
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
2000-4176
Edition:
-
Year Published:
2000
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Contributing office(s):
U.S. Geological Survey
Description:
x, 198 p.