Measurements and Standards for Contaminants in Water
Accurate measurements of contaminants in water are critical to ensure the usability and safety of our water supplies. NIST has developed Standard Reference Materials (SRMs) for validating or calibrating methods for inorganic contaminants including SRM 1640a, Trace Elements in Natural Water; SRM 1643f, Trace Elements in Water; and SRM 1641e, Mercury in Water.
MML is also interested in developing validated analytical methodology for characterizing the organic contaminants in water, which comprise a vast array of compounds including pesticides, herbicides, pharmaceuticals, and industrial chemicals. These methods will enable contaminant discovery in water sources with different contaminants profiles and facilitate the development of much-needed SRMs for organic contaminants in water.
Microbes also comprise a major class of potential contaminants in water, and many serious illnesses such as Legionnaire's disease have been linked to waterborne pathogens. MML is expanding its capabilities in genomics-and metabolomics- based characterization of microbiomes, which will be used to assess microbial populations in water.
Ultimately, MML's rigorous methods for inorganics, organics, and microbes will be used to provide the measurement foundation to support sensor validation for the water monitoring community.