ASTM D1688 - 12

    Standard Test Methods for Copper in Water

    Active Standard ASTM D1688 | Developed by Subcommittee: D19.05

    Book of Standards Volume: 11.01

      Format Pages Price  
    PDF 10 $45.00   ADD TO CART
    Hardcopy (shipping and handling) 10 $45.00   ADD TO CART
    Standard + Redline PDF Bundle 20 $54.00   ADD TO CART

    Significance and Use

    4.1 Copper is found in naturally occurring minerals principally as a sulfide, oxide, or carbonate. It makes up approximately 0.01 % of the earth's crust and is obtained commercially from such ores as chalcopyrite (CuFeS2). Copper is also found in biological complexes such as hemocyanin.

    4.2 Copper enters water supplies through the natural process of dissolution of minerals, through industrial effluents, through its use, as copper sulfate, to control biological growth in some reservoirs and distribution systems, and through corrosion of copper alloy water pipes. Industries whose wastewaters may contain significant concentrations of copper include mining, ammunition production, and most metal plating and finishing operations. It may occur in simple ionic form or in one of many complexes with such groups as cyanide, chloride, ammonia, or organic ligands.

    4.3 Although its salts, particularly copper sulfate, inhibit biological growth such as some algae and bacteria, copper is considered essential to human nutrition and is not considered a toxic chemical at concentrations normally found in water supplies.

    1. Scope

    1.1 These test methods cover the determination of copper in water by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Three test methods are included as follows:

    Test Method



    A—Atomic Absorption, Direct

    0.05 to 5 mg/L


    B—Atomic Absorption, Chelation-Extraction

    50 to 500 μg/L


    C—Atomic Absorption, Graphite Furnace

    5 to 100 μg/L


    1.2 Either dissolved or total recoverable copper may be determined. Determination of dissolved copper requires filtration through a 0.45-μm (No. 325) membrane filter at the time of collection. In-line membrane filtration is preferable.

    1.3 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.

    1.4 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 4, Note 6, Note 10, and Note 16.

    1.5 Three former photometric test methods 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

    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

    D3557 Test Methods for Cadmium in Water

    D3558 Test Methods for Cobalt in Water

    D3559 Test Methods for Lead in Water

    D3919 Practice for Measuring Trace Elements in Water by Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry

    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 41115407(Atomic absorption AA spectrometers)

    Referencing This Standard
    Link Here
    Link to Active (This link will always route to the current Active version of the standard.)

    DOI: 10.1520/D1688-12

    Citation Format

    ASTM D1688-12, Standard Test Methods for Copper in Water, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2012,

    Back to Top