Standard Test Method for
Tritium in Drinking Water1
This standard is issued under the fixed designation D 4107; the number immediately following the designation indicates the year of
original adoption or, in the case of revision, the year of the last revision. A number in parentheses indicates the year of last reapproval. A
superscript epsilon (e) indicates an editorial change since the last revision or reapproval.
1.1 This test method covers the determination of tritium in
drinking water (as T2O or HTO) by liquid scintillation counting
of the tritium beta particle activity.
1.2 This test method is used successfully with drinking
water. It is the user’s responsibility to ensure the validity of this
test method for waters of untested matrices.
1.3 The tritium concentrations, which can be measured by
this test method utilizes currently available liquid scintillation
instruments, range from less than 0.037 Bq/mL (1 pCi/mL) to
555 Bq/mL (15 000 pCi/mL) for a 10-mL sample aliquot.
Higher tritium concentrations can be measured by diluting or
using smaller sample aliquots, or both.
1.4 The maximum contaminant level for tritium in drinking
water as given by the National Interim Primary Drinking Water
Regulations (NIPDWR) is 0.740 Bq/mL (20 pCi/mL). The
NIPDWR lists a required detection limit for tritium in drinking
the water of 0.037 Bq/mL (1 pCi/mL), meaning that drinking water
supplies, where required, should be monitored for tritium at a
sensitivity of 0.037 Bq/mL (1 pCi/mL). In Appendix X1, Eq
X1.3 is given for determining the necessary counting time to
meet the required sensitivity for drinking water monitoring.
1.5 This standard does not purport to address all of the
safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the
responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.
2. Referenced Documents
2.1 ASTM Standards:
D 1129 Terminology Relating to Water2
D 1193 Specification for Reagent Water2
D 2777 Practice for Determination of Precision and Bias of
Applicable Methods of Committee D19 on Water2
D 3370 Practices for Sampling Water from Closed Conduits
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