Phosphorus measurements at very low concentrations have been tested and proven to be unreliable. The major challenge associated with low phosphorus measurements seems to be related to the sample matrix and the digestion methodologies. The results of total phosphorus measurements in
wastewater effluent, high quality deionized water samples, and orthophosphate measurements in wastewater effluent samples show a broad variability. In contrast, the orthophosphate measurements in the deionized water matrix spiked to 3 μg/L and 6 μg/L show an insignificant variability.
The Ascorbic Method seems to be a reliable technique to measure orthophosphate at low levels. The findings of the current study have demonstrated that as the phosphorus concentration increases, the variability decreases.
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