WATER TEST DESCRIPTIONS

List of Accredited and Non-Accredited Test Descriptions

Download the Full List of Accredited and Non-Accredited Test Descriptions

 

* indicates Nata Accreditations

Water Description of Test Methods Turnaround
(working Days)
Amount of Sample
(KG or Litres)
*Alkalinity Based on APHA 2320 and PMW-07. Alkalinity is a measure the bicarbonates and sometimes hydroxides that make water alkaline. The alkalinity in water comes partly from carbon dioxide dissolving in the water to form bicarbonate and H+ ions. Based on method APHA 2320B and in house PMW-07 including bicarbonate, carbonate, hydroxide and total alkalinity in mg/L. 5 0.1
*Cations
(K, Ca, Mg & Na)
Calcium ions in water originate from the weathering of minerals, sewage and many types of industrial wastewater. The calcium content of water has a marked effect of water infiltration in many soils. Magnesium is a major contributor to the hardness of water and high levels in irrigation water can lead to undesirable effects on the structure of soil. Excess magnesium can cause scouring and diarrhoea in livestock and can also result in scaling and encrustation of fittings. Sodium is a natural component of water that contributes to the salt content of waters. Sodium can have a major impact on the salinity & sodicity of waters used for agricultural & human consumption purposes. Dissolved potassium, calcium, magnesium and sodium by ICP OES using method APHA 3120 Band in house ICP-09. 5 0.1
*Chloride
(soluble)
Based on ISE using in-house method PMW-09. Soluble chloride in water by ion selective electrode (ISE) using method in house PMW-09. 5 0.1
Chlorine
Total Residual
Based on APHA-4500 and in-house method PMW-06. Chlorine is widely used as a cheap and effective sanitiser for water. Bacteriological contamination is unlikely to occur if free chlorine levels are kept around 0.4 – 0.5 mg/l. Total Chlorine is measured by UV-Vis spectrophotometer (HACH) based on APHA 4500 Cl G and in house PMW-06. 5 0.1
*Chlorine
Free Residual
Based on APHA-4500 and in-house method PMW-06. Free Chlorine is measured by UV-Vis spectrophotometer (HACH) using APHA 4500 Cl G and in house PMW-06 5 0.1
Colour
Apparent
Apparent colour is measured by classical (HACH) techniques using in house method PMW-06. 5 0.1
Colour
True
Based on in-house method PMW-08. True colour is measured by classical (HACH) techniques using in house method PMW-06 where the sample is filtered to remove suspended solids. 5 0.1
*Conductivity
EC
Based on APHA 2510 B and in house PMW-03. Electrical conductivity (EC) is a measure of the capacity of a liquid to pass an electric current, and increases as salinity increases. EC is the most common measurement of salinity in both soil & water. Electrical conductivity is measured by classical (meter) based on APHA 2510 B and in house PMW-03. 5 0.1
*Dissolved
Oxygen
The dissolved oxygen (DO) is oxygen that is dissolved in water. The oxygen dissolves by diffusion from the surrounding air; aeration of water that has tumbled over falls and rapids; and as a waste product of photosynthesis. DO is measured by classical (Meter) using APHA 4500 O G and in house PMW-02. 5 0.1
Hardness Based on a calculation using in-house method PMW-12A. Hardness is the name for the amount of calcium and magnesium in water. Calcium is also a contributor to the hardness of water and can cause scaling and encrustation on pipes, pumps, heaters, boilers & cooking utensils. Total hardness and calcium carbonate hardness is a calculation.    
Heavy
Metals
Total or dissolved arsenic, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, lead, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, selenium and zinc. Determined according to in house ICP-09. 5 0.1
Langelier
Corrosion Index
Based on a calculation using in-house method PMW-12E. Sometimes called the Langelier Saturation Index. This index uses information on temperature, hardness, alkalinity, total dissolved salts and pH to calculate the tendency that the water has to be corrosive. Corrosive water will slowly dissolve some metals such as copper and iron so this could be a problem if your plumbing system includes copper pipe and iron tanks or pumps. 5 0.1
*Nitrate-N The amount of nitrate in water has become an important issue because in many parts of the world nitrates are getting into groundwater and streams through losses from agricultural fertilisers or through organic pollution. High concentrations of nitrates may be a health problem for infants. Nitrogen-nitrate is measured by UV-Vis spectrophotometer using in house method PMW-10. 5 0.1
Organic
Matter or Carbon
Organic matter in water can come from a variety of sources. Some are natural like decomposition products or metabolic products of plants and animals. Other man-made chemicals can find their way into water supplies. Organic matter is measured as DOM Dissolved Organic Matter if the water is first filtered or as Total Organic Carbon if the water is unfiltered. Determined according to in house method LEC-08. 5 0.1
*Oxidation
Reduction Potential (ORP)
Oxidation Reduction Potential (ORP) gives a general indication of water quality. It is sometimes called REDOX potential. If ORP is low this might be due to organic pollution or lack of oxygen or both. ORP is measured by classical (meter) based on APHA 2580 B and in house method PMW-05. 5 0.1
*pH pH is a measure of acidity and alkalinity. It is logarithmic scale between 1 & 14, with 7 being neutral, below 7 being acid & above 7 being alkaline. pH is measured by classical (meter) based on APHA 4500 H B and in house method PMW-04. 5 0.1
Phosphate-P Dissolved or total phosphate-phosphorus is measured by ICP-OES using method APHA 3120 B and in house ICP-09. 5 0.1
Phosphorus
Total
Total Phosphorus is a measure of phosphorus in all its inorganic and organic forms. Determined according to in house ICP-09. 5 0.1
Residual
Sodium Carbonate
Based on a calculation using in-house method PMW-12C. Residual Sodium Carbonate (RSC) is another alternative measure of the sodium content in relation with Mg and Ca. This value may appear in some water quality reports although it is not frequently used. 5 0.1
Sodium Adsorption Ratio (SAR) Based on a calculation using in-house method PMW-12B. The index used is the Sodium Adsorption Ratio (SAR) that expresses the relative activity of sodium ions in the exchange reactions with the soil. This ratio measures the relative concentration of sodium to calcium and Magnesium. High sodium ions in water affects the permeability of soil and causes infiltration problems. This is because sodium when present in the soil in exchangeable form replaces calcium and magnesium adsorbed on the soil clays and causes dispersion of soil particles. 5 0.1
Sulphate-Sulphur
Soluble
Sulphate-S is measured by ICP-OES using method APHA 3120 B and in house ICP-09. 5 0.1
TDS
Total Dissolved Solids
Based on a calculation using in-house method PMW-12D. Total Dissolved Salts (TDS) is a calculation which can aid in determining whether water is suitable for irrigating particular crops. 5 0.1
Trace
Metals
Dissolved copper, zinc, manganese, iron & boron measured by ICP-OES using method APHA 3120 B and in house ICP-09. 5 0.1
TSS
Total Suspended Solids
Based on a classical using in-house method PMW-11.Total suspended solids or non-filterable residue can be found in a majority of waters in Australia and even if particles can not be seen with the naked eye there will still be tiny particles contained in it. High levels of non-filterable residues can cause reduction in light transmission through water & in sitting or slow-running water the residues may sediment out, smothering life on the riverbed. Determined according to in house PMS-21. 5 0.2
*Turbidity Turbidity is a measure of the way the water scatters light is also a general indicator of water quality. Turbidity may be caused by very fine colloids from clays or particulate organic matter or even caused by algal growth. It may also be caused by solids which are carried or suspended in the water. Turbidity is measured using classical (meter) based on APHA 2130 B and in house PMW-01. 5 0.1
Water
Suite 1
pH, Alkalinity, EC, Cl, TDS, Sodium Adsorption ratio (SAR), N-NO3 , PO4, SO4-S, Fe, Mn, B, K, Na, Ca, Mg & Hardness 5 0.1
Water
Suite 2
pH, EC, Cl, Na, Ca, Mg & Hardness, TDS & SAR 5 0.1
WFC
(Microbiology)
Presence/Absence
Escherichia coli & Faecal Coliforms Absence / Presence. E.coli bacteria belong to the coliform bacteria group. Many coliforms occur naturally in soil and water. However the presence of E.coli bacteria indicates possible sewage contamination of water because E.coli is found only in the mammalian intestinal tract including that of humans. Just a note: Coliforms found in mammals are called faecal coliforms. Most faecal coliforms are E coli so E coli tests are used as an indicator of faecal coliforms. 3 0.1