The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established water quality standards to comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act and protect the public against consumption of drinking water contaminants that present a risk to human health. The EPA also enforces regulations for public water systems to manage their drinking water for aesthetic considerations, such as taste, color, and odor. The analytical water chemistry panel includes the following metals: lead (Pb), zinc (Zn), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), calcium (Ca), and magnesium (Mg). These commonly found metals are used to assess the general inorganic chemistry of building water systems, evaluation of corrosion, metals leaching, and scaling potential, and assist in secondary disinfection selection.

Test Method 

EPA 200.8; Determination of Trace Elements in Waters and Wastes by Inductively Coupled Plasma- Mass Spectrometry

Turn Around Time

 7–10 days

Test code



  1. Complete the Chain of Custody Test Request form provided.
  2. Use waterproof pen to label bottles with sample location, description, and date.
  3. Open the sampling valve and flush for 60 seconds.
  4. Collect cold sample for chemistry in the unpreserved sample bottle provided.
    • If sampling for other biological tests (e.g. Legionella), use the correct sample bottles provided and follow appropriate sampling instructions.
    • Sample bottles are sealed. If the bottle has been previously opened or used, discard the bottle and collect the sample in a new bottle.
    • To prevent contamination, avoid touching the inside of the bottle, the lid, sample valve or outlet with hands.

These procedures may not meet EPA sampling procedures for drinking water compliance and are provided only to assist with water management plan needs.

Sample transport 

  1. Ship samples the same day they are collected for receipt in laboratory.
  2. Place bottles in box.
  3. Place completed Chain of Custody Test Request form in plastic document holder and pack in box. 
  4. Ship overnight Monday–Thursday only to: Special Pathogens Laboratory, 1401 Forbes Avenue, Suite 401, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Questions? Call SPL at 412-281-5335