The Standing Committee of Analysts

The Standing Committee of Analysts

SCA Strategic Board – Thursday 21st April 2016
Report for the Organic Methods Working Group

At the time of writing, the organics working group last met on the 11th November 2015 (ALS Wakefield) with a further meeting planned on the 19th April (Severn Trent, Bridgend) – update to be provided at the Strategic Board meeting.

November 2015 Meeting
19 experts attended the session from a range of laboratories.

The meeting focused on two main topics, a review of the draft Phenoxy Acid Herbicides booklet by LC-MS and the draft booklet on Taste and Odour Causing compounds by GC-MS.

The latest draft of both booklets were reviewed at the meeting and further comments included. Further discussion also took place on future work developing a bluebook on screening methods for volatile compounds (by headspace or purge & trap GCMS), semi-volatile compounds (by solvent extraction and GCMS) and polar compounds by LCMS (ion-trap/TOF).

Current Status
The completed booklet on the Determination of NDMA in Drinking Waters by GCMS has been forwarded for publication.

The updated version of the Phenoxy Acid Herbicides booklet now contains a total of 6 individual method and has been circulated to the group prior to the April 2016 meeting for final comments. This is almost complete and it is the intention to sign this off in April for publication.

The draft booklet on T&O causing compounds currently includes 3 different GCMS methods covering a range of compounds. This is less defined than the acid herbicides draft and further work is needed. This will be reviewed again at the April meeting.

A draft template to capture information on existing screening methods has been written and circulated to the group for comment. This will be reviewed at the meeting in April. The information on methodologies will be useful in shaping the format of a new booklet. It is hoped that a new book will help inform the debate on gaining DWTS accreditation for incident and event samples in light of the changes to the requirements in May 2016.

It should be noted that the inclusion of a potential draft on screening methods has a wider interest from labs outside the traditional water companies and this may help to bring in additional membership to the group.

Sample Stability Meeting
In addition to the work within the organics group, I have also organised and chaired an initial meeting across both the organic and inorganic working groups to discuss sample stability for chemical samples. The meeting was held on at Thames Water. 13 participants attended the meeting.

This is in light of a discussion at the last DWI lab liaison meeting (Oct 2015) where the possibility of collating UK stability data was discussed. This would potentially reduce the amount of duplication from across the industry (to comply with DWI information letter 12/05) but also help to provide data that could be submitted to ISO in a future revision of ISO 5667-3. The next step is to provide a template to collate the current data to allow a comparison between labs. A further meeting is planned in September 2016 where Severn Trent have agreed to host.


Ian Barnabas



The Standing Committee of Analysts (SCA) exists to provide authoritative guidance on methods of sampling and analysis of waters and effluents, sewage sludges, sediments, soils (including contaminated land) and biota. Where appropriate, guidance on the sampling and analysis of air will also be produced. The primary duty of SCA will be to develop and publish recommended analytical methods. This will not include the provision of advice on, or interpretation of results. All methods published by the SCA should be capable of satisfying a regulatory demand, be fit for purpose and represent best practice within the United Kingdom (UK).
However, validation data published with methods represents performance under a particular set of circumstances and is provided for illustrative purposes only. It is incumbent on users of SCA methods to assess performance on their equipment, in their laboratories, with their personnel.