Direct large-volume injection LC-MS/MS for the identification and determination of environmental contaminants in drinking water

Poster Presentation

Prepared by

Contact Information: [email protected]; 404-676-2818


Pesticides include all chemicals that are used to kill or control pests and often end up in drinking water. Accordingly, haloacetic acids (HAAs) are disinfection-byproducts formed in water when chlorine reacts with organic matter, and Acrylamide is potentially used in water treatment, too. For decades the U.S. EPA has published official methods on how to prepare and analyze drinking water samples for contaminants. Even so, the overwhelming majority of these methods are antiquated and do not account for post-2007 rapid technological developments in analytical chemistry and instrumentation. To analyze Acrylamide, HAAs, and pesticide residues in drinking water would require at least eight different EPA Methods comprising a variety of lengthy sample preparations and several separate expensive instruments. Initially, we endeavored to reduce expenses and time by performing these analyses using four different alternate test procedures. Still, lengthy sample preparation and instrument usage predominated the procedures. To substantially reduce costs and time we have developed and validated a performance-based method whereby we analyze Acrylamide, five HAAs, and 31 pesticides in drinking water via direct large-volume injection onto LC-MS/MS after modest preparation in sample/methanol solution acidified with 5% formic acid. By combining these methods, we have reduced run time by 24%, overall preparation time by 90%, solvent costs by 25%, and overall supply costs by 64%. At The Coca-Cola Company, not only are our drinking water requirements more stringent than current regulations, but we also have passed 100% of all external and internal proficiency tests and audits for this method. The applicability to other labs is seamless, and over time the cost and time savings will compound resulting in true value creation.