PFAS in Non-Potable Water

Environmental Testing for PFAS (Per/Polyfluoroalkyl Substances) via Method EPA 1633

In August 2021 USEPA published the first draft method for analysis of PFAS contaminants via method EPA 1633.  This method is required for Clean Water Act compliance monitoring in the United States.

Accredited laboratories performing PFAS analysis in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware are extremely rare.  Suburban Testing Labs is proud to be working towards being one of the first labs in PA to gain this accreditation.


Analysis is performed by a solid-phase extraction (SPE) on the sample, followed by analysis using Liquid Chromatography with tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS-MS).  We can also perform analysis for PFAS in drinking water.

Testing is completed right at our headquarters without the need to ship samples to an out-of-state facility.  Knowing your samples are handled at our lab without the possibility of shipping delays gives our clients peace of mind.

Hazards of PFAS in Wastewater

According to the USEPA, Humans can be exposed to PFAS in a variety of ways.  Manufacturing or chemical production facilities that discharge into publically owned wastewater treatment facilities (POTWs) that are not designed to treat wastewater for these contaminants can cause discharged water and biosolids to be contaminated with these harmful compounds.   Wastewater discharged to our waterways from treatment plants could be a source of contamination in fish, and drinking water supplies. Contaminated biosolids used as fertilizer on agricultural lands can affect ground and surface water and animals grazing on the land.

Sampling and testing at various points of the collection system, industrial discharges, the influent, the effluent, and the biosolids is an important way POTWs can understand how much PFAS they are really dealing with, and what the sources may be.

PFAS Testing Parameters via EPA 1633

EPA Method 1633 for the determination of the per- and polufluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) quantifies PFAS analytes listed in the table below.  The routine Reporting Limit (MRL) and the Method Detection Limit (MDL) are currently the same.

The sample container is a 250 mL High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), plastic container.  You should get these containers from our laboratory to ensure they are free of PFAS compounds.  Field Reagent Blanks should be collected when testing for compliance purposes.

Analyte Name Abbreviation MDL (µg/L) MRL (µg/L)
Perfluoro-4-methoxybutanoic Acid PFBA 0.008 0.008
Perfluoropentanoic Acid PFPeA 0.004 0.004
Perfluorohexanoic Acid PFHxA 0.002 0.002
Perfluoroheptanoic Acid PFHpA 0.002 0.002
Perfluorooctanoic Acid PFOA 0.002 0.002
Perfluorononanoic Acid PFNA 0.002 0.002
Perfluorodecanoic Acid PFDA 0.002 0.002
Perfluoroundecanoic Acid PFUnA 0.002 0.002
Perfluorododecanoic Acid PFDoA 0.002 0.002
Perfluorotridecanoic Acid PFTrDA 0.002 0.002
Perfluorotetradecanoic Acid PFTA 0.002 0.002
Perfluorobutanesulfonic Acid PFBS 0.002 0.002
Perfluoropentanesulfonic Acid PFPeS 0.002 0.002
Perfluorohexanesulfonic Acid PFHxS 0.002 0.002
Perfluoroheptanesulfonic Acid PFHpS 0.002 0.002
Perfluorooctanesulfonic Acid PFOS 0.002 0.002
Perfluorononanesulfonic Acid PFNS 0.002 0.002
Perfluorodecanesulfonic Acid PFDS 0.002 0.002
Perfluorododecanesulfonic Acid PFDoS 0.002 0.002
1H,1H,2H,2H-Perfluorohexane Sulfonic Acid 4:2FTS 0.008 0.008
1H,1H,2H,2H-Perfluorooctane Sulfonic Acid 6:2FTS 0.008 0.008
1H,1H,2H,2H-Perflurodecane Sulfonic Acid 8:2FTS 0.008 0.008
Perfluorooctanesulfonamide PFOSA 0.002 0.002
N-methyl Perfluorooctanesulfonamide NMeFOSA 0.002 0.002
N-ethyl Perfluorooctanesulfonamide NEtFOSA 0.002 0.002
N-methyl Perfluorooctanesulfonamidoacetic Acid NMeFOSAA 0.002 0.002
N-ethyl Perfluorooctanesulfonamidoacetic Acid NEtFOSAA 0.002 0.002
N-methyl perfluorooctanesulfonamidoethanol NMeFOSE 0.02 0.02
N-ethyl Perfluorooctanesulfonamidoethanol NEtFOSE 0.02 0.02
Hexafluoropropylene Oxide Dimer Acid HFPO-DA 0.008 0.008
4,8-Dioxa-3H-Perfluorononanoic Acid ADONA 0.008 0.008
9-Chlorohexadecafluoro-3-oxanonane-1-sulfonic acid 9Cl-PF3ONS 0.008 0.008
11-chloroeicosafluoro-3-oxaundecane-1-sulfonic… 11Cl-PF3OUdS 0.008 0.008
3-Perfluoropropyl Propanoic Acid 3:3FTCA 0.01 0.01
2H,2H,3H,3H-Perfluorooctanoic Acid 5:3FTCA 0.05 0.05
3-Perfluoroheptyl Propanoic Acid 7:3FTCA 0.05 0.05
Perfluoro(2-ethoxyethane)sulfonic Acid PFEESA 0.004 0.004
Perfluoro-3-methoxypropanoic Acid PFMPA 0.004 0.004
Perfluoro-4-methoxybutanoic Acid PFMBA 0.004 0.004
Nonafluoro-3,6-Dioxaheptanoic Acid NFDHA 0.004 0.004