Detection of Trace Level Basic and Acidic Pesticides and Herbicides in Drinking Water by Online SPE LC/MS

Poster Presentation

Prepared by J. Weitzel1, E. Naegele2
1 - Agilent Technologies, Hewlett-Packard-Str. 8, Waldbronn, BW, 76337, Germany
2 - Agilent Technologies, Inc., Hewlett-Packard-Str. 8, Waldbronn, BW, 76337, Germany

Contact Information:; 408-553-7091


The presence of pesticides and herbicides in drinking water poses significant threats to human health and the environment. As a result, levels in municipal water supplies are regulated by several government agencies down to part-per-trillion levels (European Union Water Directive 98/83/EC). The diverse range of analyte properties, low analyte concentrations and variable water matrix composition provide significant analytical challenges.

In this study, we utilize an automated online SPE solution with an LC/MS QQQ system for the simultaneous quantitation of basic and acidic pesticides and herbicides at ppt or sub-ppt levels in drinking water. This flexible system features an integrated loading pump and interchangeable valve heads to support large sample volume injections (up to 1,800 ?L) with two alternating trapping cartridges.

Chromatography was performed under gradient conditions of water and acetonitrile with 0.1% formic acid. The system was coupled to a sensitive QQQ mass spectrometer. Two MRM transitions were monitored per compound. MS/MS and MS source parameters were optimized in an automated fashion for each compound.

Quantitative performance was evaluated in terms of LOD, LOQ, precision, accuracy and linearity.