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Water quality is a function of both the source of the water and its intended use. The quality of a given stream can be defined only in terms of the requirements of the system in which it is being received or from which the water is discharged. The waste from one use may well be the water supply for another use. Before one can control water quality for a use, a great deal must be known about both the chemical and physical characterizations of the possible water sources, and the exact requirements for the planned use. Knowing these data, one can set out to develop the proper treatment for the selected water supply. Once the treatment program is started, analytical data are needed to determine its effectiveness. Overtreatment causes unnecessary expense, and undertreatment also will cost money because of equipment inefficiency or failure, plus resulting downtime, maintenance expense, and, potentially, reduced product quality. One may conclude that analytical data are needed for effective planning of the system and for monitoring performance of the system subsequently. The Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Part 31 , presents a wide variety of analytical methods to determine the various constituents and characteristics of significance to water quality evaluation. This chapter provides the analyst with criteria necessary for the selection of the best method to check for each constituent, and guidance to properly interpret results of the analyses, in relation to the water system under consideration. To accomplish this goal, the chapter discusses (1) the value of a well-defined, systematic program of analysis; (2) sampling methods for various needs; (3) the basis for selection of the test methods to achieve the desired results; (4) the cross-checking of analytical data; and (5) the interpretation of results. Although the determination of water quality is done to select the proper treatment program, the description of specific treatment methods is beyond the scope of this chapter. (Treatment methods are discussed in Chapter 5.) In selecting sites for new plant construction, where water is required for plant operations and for use in manufacturing products, the quality and quantity of water available, and its analysis, play important parts in the economics of plant operation.