ASTM D857 - 12

    Standard Test Method for Aluminum in Water

    Active Standard ASTM D857 | Developed by Subcommittee: D19.05

    Book of Standards Volume: 11.01


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    Significance and Use

    5.1 Although there is little information available concerning the toxicological significance of aluminum in man, the American Water Works Association has established a water quality guideline or goal of a maximum of 0.05 mg/L. Under the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), some permits may set aluminum discharge limits. Some evidence does exist to indicate that low levels (5 mg/L) will interfere with activated sludge processes. For the above reasons monitoring of aluminum may be desirable.

    5.2 Aluminum is monitored in boiler make-up water, where alum has been used, to determine whether aluminum is present after pretreatment. Residual aluminum may consume ion exchange capacity or consume boiler water treatment chemicals added to stoichiometrically chelate hardness ions (that is, calcium and magnesium) in boiler feed water.

    5.3 Aluminum is monitored in cooling water make-up, since its presence may result in deactivation of anionic substances in scale or corrosion inhibitor treatment chemicals, or both. Deactivation may result in decreased performance of inhibitors.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers the direct flame atomic absorption determination of aluminum in the nitrous oxide-acetylene flame.

    1.2 This test method is applicable to waters containing dissolved and total recoverable aluminum in the range from 0.5 to 5.0 mg/L. Aluminum concentrations as high as approximately 50 mg/L can be determined using this test method without dilution. However, no precision and bias data are available for concentrations greater than 5.0 mg/L.

    1.3 This test method was tested on reagent, natural, and potable waters. It is the user's responsibility to ensure the validity of this test method for waters of untested matrices.

    1.4 The same digestion procedure may be used to determine total recoverable nickel (Test Methods D1886), chromium (Test Methods D1687), cobalt (Test Methods D3558), copper (Test Methods D1688), iron (Test Methods D1068), lead (Test Method D3559), manganese (Test Method D858), and zinc (Test Methods D1691).

    1.5 Precision and bias data have been obtained on reagent, natural, and potable waters. It is the responsibility of the user to ensure the validity of this test method on untested matrices.

    1.6 The values stated in either SI units or inch-pound units are to be regarded separately as standard. The values stated in each system are mathematical conversions and may not be exact equivalents; therefore, each system shall be used independently of the other.

    1.7 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. For specific hazard statements, see Note 1, Note 2, and Note 4.

    1.8 Former Test Methods A (Fluorometric) and B and C (Spectrophotometric) were discontinued. Refer to Appendix X1 for historical information.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D858 Test Methods for Manganese in Water

    D1066 Practice for Sampling Steam

    D1068 Test Methods for Iron in Water

    D1129 Terminology Relating to Water

    D1193 Specification for Reagent Water

    D1687 Test Methods for Chromium in Water

    D1688 Test Methods for Copper in Water

    D1691 Test Methods for Zinc in Water

    D1886 Test Methods for Nickel in Water

    D2777 Practice for Determination of Precision and Bias of Applicable Test Methods of Committee D19 on Water

    D3370 Practices for Sampling Water from Closed Conduits

    D3558 Test Methods for Cobalt in Water

    D3559 Test Methods for Lead in Water

    D4841 Practice for Estimation of Holding Time for Water Samples Containing Organic and Inorganic Constituents

    D5810 Guide for Spiking into Aqueous Samples

    D5847 Practice for Writing Quality Control Specifications for Standard Test Methods for Water Analysis


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.060.50 (Examination of water for chemical substances)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    DOI: 10.1520/D0857-12

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