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A New Procedure for Determining Detection and Quantitation Limits in Wastewater Analysis

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The Method Detection Limit (MDL) procedure at CFR40 Part 136 Appendix B is currently used for almost all determinations of detection limits for EPA analytical methods, and is mandated for wastewater analysis under Part 136. The procedure has several failings, including: Lack of any consideration of non-zero blanks; lack of any consideration of long term variability; failure to accommodate EPA methods which censor data at some level; and failure to accommodate non-normal data or non-constant variance. These weaknesses can result in incorrect determinations of the detection limit, and prompted EPA to establish a Federal Advisory Committee to develop an improved procedure.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2008

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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