An analytical method for the determination of haloacetic acid formation potential of water samples has been developed by the U.S. Geological Survey California Water Science Center Sacramento Laboratory. The haloacetic acid formation potential is measured by dosing water samples with chlorine under specified conditions of pH, temperature, incubation time, darkness, and residual-free chlorine. The haloacetic acids formed are bromochloroacetic acid, bromodichloroacetic acid, dibromochloroacetic acid, dibromoacetic acid, dichloroacetic acid, monobromoacetic acid, monochloroacetic acid, tribromoacetic acid, and trichloroacetic acid. They are extracted, methylated, and then analyzed using a gas chromatograph equipped with an electron capture detector. Method validation experiments were performed to determine the method accuracy, precision, and detection limit for each of the compounds. Method detection limits for these nine haloacetic acids ranged from 0.11 to 0.45 microgram per liter. Quality-control practices include the use of blanks, quality-control samples, calibration verification standards, surrogate recovery, internal standard, matrix spikes, and duplicates.