Validated Test for PFAS in Wastewater, Surface Water, Groundwater & Soil Announced

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), published a draft of the first USEPA-validated laboratory analytical method to test for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in eight different environmental media, including wastewater, surface water, groundwater, and soils.

A partnership between USEPA and the DoD’s Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program has produced Draft Method 1633, a single laboratory validated method to test for 40 PFAS compounds in wastewater, surface water, groundwater, soil, biosolids, sediment, landfill leachate, and fish tissue. Until now, regulated entities and environmental laboratories relied upon modified USEPA methods or in-house laboratory standard operating procedures to analyze PFAS in these settings. With the support of the Council on PFAS, USEPA and DoD will continue to collaborate to complete a multi-laboratory validation study of the method in 2022. 

The draft testing method can be used in various applications, including National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits. The method will support NPDES implementation by providing a consistent PFAS method that has been tested in a wide variety of wastewaters and contains all the required quality control procedures for a Clean Water Act (CWA) method. While the method is not nationally required for CWA compliance monitoring until USEPA has promulgated it through rulemaking, it is recommended now for use in individual permits. 

Draft Method 1633 complements existing validated methods to test for PFAS in drinking water and non-potable water. Draft Method 1633 also complements existing Safe Drinking Water Act methods to test for 29 PFAS compounds in drinking water and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act method for 24 PFAS compounds in non-potable water.  

Additional information about Draft Method 1633 is accessible on the USEPA website.