Water Quality Test Kits


Date: Thu, 22 Dec 2005 17:30:47 -0500
From: Jerry Schoen
Subject: [volmonitor] Water testing kits

Hello all,
I am trying to put together a list of water testing kits for a variety of WQ indicators – with notation regarding whether kits have received EPA approval. I would appreciate hearing from you about any kits your volunteer monitoring group uses or is familiar with. Any addtional information about EPA approval, either as an approved SOP or by virtue of an approved QAPP wherein the kit is used for a particular WQ indicator, would be appreciated.

Jerry Schoen
Blaisdell House
UMass Amherst MA 01003

545-2304 Fax


Date: Fri, 23 Dec 2005 07:04:00 -0500
From: Sidney Post
Subject: RE: [volmonitor] Water testing kits


We utilize HACH and LaMotte kits and have done so for the past sixteen years. As far as EPA approval; I’m not sure? we use several of the HACH kits with our utility water quality sampling program (I’ll have to look into this). We have strict training in how to use both HACH and LaMotte kits along with strict QA and QC. Hope this helps in some way.

Sidney Post

Watershed Action Team Coordinator
Sidney Post
624 Filter Plant Drive
Fayetteville, NC 28301


Date: Fri, 23 Dec 2005 09:28:11 -0500 (EST)
Subject: RE: [volmonitor] Water testing kits

I would suggest containing the manufacturer. TO my knowledge some methods have EPA Approval, but these methods tend to require higher end equipment. Also, even with “strict” QC it is still possible to see variation in the 10 to 20% range.

Brian Oram
Wilkes Univesity
Center for Environmental Quality

We tend to use field kits as a screening tool only. We also like to use water quality meters: such as YSI and others. The meters can be calibrated by one person and typically the meters have internal
diagnostics. It is also important to look at detection limit. For many tests, the detection limit is not low enough or it is necessary to digest a sample for matrix interference.


Date: Fri, 23 Dec 2005 09:49:29 -0500
From: Geoff Dates
Subject: Re: [volmonitor] Water testing kits


It’s been a few years since I looked at this issue, so I hope someone from EPA can clarify. What I discovered is that “EPA-approved” is a term that was used rather loosely by kit manufacturers. Most often, the kits hadn’t gone through any formal review process, but simply were based on an EPA approved method. The most helpful response would address your last sentence by defining the various levels of approval and how one finds out the status of a particular kit.

A great resource is the National Environmental Methods Index (NEMI)web site ( Some verbage from the web site:
NEMI is being developed under the direction of the Methods and Data Comparability Board, a partnership of water-quality experts from Federal agencies, States, Tribes, municipalities, industry, and private organizations. The Methods Board is chartered under the National Water Quality Monitoring Council. NEMI makes finding approved methods a much easier task by allowing the user to simply select the pollutant and regulation of interest. A list of the approved methods, with all relevant modifications required by CFR footnotes will be quickly generated. Furthermore, you can download the approved version of publicly available methods with a single mouse click.

Another source is EPA’s Office of Research and Development’s Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) Program develops testing protocols and verifies the performance of innovative technologies that have the potential to improve protection of human health and the environment.

Good luck!


Geoff Dates
River Watch Program Director
River Network
Home Office:
231 24D Heritage Condos
Woodstock, VT 05091
802-457-9808 w & h
River Network Web Site:


Date: Mon, 02 Jan 2006 15:00:07 -0500
From: Linda Green
Subject: RE: [volmonitor] Water testing kits

Hi Jerry and vol mon folks,


This isn’t exactly what you are looking for, but may help. At we have an annotated list of suppliers of water monitoring equipment used by vol mon groups.

URI Watershed Watch has a newly EPA-approved QAPP for our field monitoring program at We use LaMotte kits for dissolved oxygen (#5860) and for salinity (#7459). The appendices for that QAPP with the specific procedures (SOP’s) haven’t been posted yet.

As Geoff says in his response to your posting, NEMI National Environmental Methods Index (NEMI)web site ( is a good resource for methods, but it isn’t comprehensive and doesn’t have a lot of of vol mon methods, particularly kits. The methods on the site were nominated by someone and then thoroughly reviewed by selected members of the Methods and Data Comparability Board, which is a very active and fairly autonomous work group of the National Water Quality Monitoring Council. (PS they would love to have some vol mon coordinator members)

Happy New Year to all!

Linda Green

URI Cooperative Extension Water Quality
Department of Natural Resources Science
1 Greenhouse Road
Kingston, RI 02881-0804


Date: Tue, 03 Jan 2006 19:09:23 -0500
From: “Picotte, Amy”
Subject: RE: [volmonitor] Water testing kits

Hi Jerry and other lovely volunteer monitoring people, I don’t have a lot of experience using kits, but through the Project WET program the HACH company has developed several kits for vol. monitors, which I have heard are fabulous. The Healthy Water, Healthy People (Project WET) site will have the info at

Also, in Appendix D of the “Vermont Volunteer Surface Water Monitoring Guide” there is a listing of water testing kit vendors.

Hope this helps some. Happy New Year.

Amy Picotte
Environmental Analyst
DEC-Water Quality Division
103 S. Main St.
Waterbury, VT 05671-0408
Tel. 802-241-3789
fax. 802-241-4537