Analysis of Volatile Organic Compounds in Drinking Water Using Purge & Trap Sampling Coupled to GCMS Following EPA 524.2 and EPA 524.4

Drinking Water
Oral Presentation

Prepared by T. Jeffers1, A. Nutter2, A. Ladak1
1 - Thermo Fisher Scientific, 300 Industry Drive, Pittsburgh, PA, 15275, United States
2 - Teledyne Tekmar, Mason, OH, USA, , , United States

Contact Information:; 412-400-3890


Drinking water samples are routinely tested for a variety of compounds to ensure that the water is safe for human consumption. Among the compounds tested are volatiles organic compounds (VOCs) and US EPA Methods 524.2 and 524.4 are both commonly used methods for the analysis. These methods both utilize gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS) with a purge and trap (P&T) sampling systems. As the sample matrix is water, it is essential that moisture is not introduced into the analytical column as this could damage the column and affect the results. This testing is usually carried out in a high throughput environment so the analytical method and instrumentation must be robust and produce consistent results.
In this work the analysis by both EPA 524.2 and 524.4 will be discussed including the differences between the methods highlighting the benefits of the Thermo Scientific TRACE 1310 GC coupled to the Thermo Scientific ISQ 7000 VPI and the Teledyne Tekmar Atomx XYZ P&T for the analysis. Method performance will be demonstrated through method detection limit (MDL), minimum reporting level (MRL), linearity and initial demonstration of capability (IDC) assessments. Method robustness is also demonstrated by monitoring precision and accuracy over an extended sequence with no user intervention.