MONROVIA, CA, April 12, 2012 – MWH Laboratories, a division of MWH Global, recently became one of the first water and wastewater laboratories in the United States to meet all proficiency testing requirements by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the third round of the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Regulation (UCMR3). MWH Laboratories was one of the first laboratories to participate and pass the first round of proficiency testing for all methods and all UCMR3 analytes, conducted in March 2012.
Beginning as early as January 2013, UCMR3 requires all water utilities serving a retail population of more than 10,000 to conduct one year of monitoring for 28 contaminants being considered for future regulation. These compounds include metals, hormones, volatile organics, 1,4-dioxane, chlorate and perfluorinated compounds. UCMR3 is also expected to require monitoring for hexavalent chromium. Only laboratories approved by the EPA specifically for the UCMR3 monitoring program are allowed to report results.
“UCMR methods continue to be more and more challenging as reporting levels are pushed down. We performed second lab validation for the EPA on many of the UCMR3 methods, which helped us to prepare for the proficiency testing," saidDr. Andrew Eaton, technical director for MWH Laboratories.
The final version of UCMR3 will be published in late April or early May 2012 and monitoring will be conducted for more than 4,000 utilities between 2013 and 2015. The EPA began lab approval following the UCMR3 proposal in March 2011 in order to address the analytical challenges expected to be faced by laboratories planning to perform UCMR3 testing. Full details of the requirements will be available in the final UCMR3.
Laboratories seeking approval for monitoring are required to submit detailed qualifications, a quality assurance plan specific for the UCMR3, and conduct and submit a demonstration of capability. These requirements are then completed and reviewed by the EPA and selected laboratories are eligible to participate in the proficiency testing program, which is the last step before official approval when UCMR3 is published.
The final UCMR3 will require measurement with seven different analytical methods, which are 200.8 for metals, 218.7 for Cr (VI), 300.1 for chlorate, 522 for 1,4-dioxane, 524.3 for volatiles, 537 for perfluorinated compounds and 539 for hormones. Several of these methods also require analysis of a field blank due to the very low levels being measured and the possibilities for field contamination.