Standard Historical Last Updated: Dec 22, 2021
ASTM D1886-14

Standard Test Methods for Nickel in Water

Significance and Use

4.1 Elemental constituents in potable water, receiving water, and wastewater need to be identified for support of effective pollution control programs. Test Methods A, B, and C provide the techniques necessary to make such measurements.

4.2 Nickel is considered to be relatively nontoxic to man and a limit for nickel is not included in the EPA National Interim Primary Drinking Water Regulations.6 The toxicity of nickel to aquatic life indicates tolerances that vary widely and that are influenced by species, pH, synergistic effects, and other factors.

4.3 Nickel is a silver-white metallic element seldom occur-ring in nature in the elemental form. Nickel salts are soluble and can occur as a leachate from nickel-bearing ores. Nickel salts are used in metal-plating and may be discharged to surface or ground waters.


1.1 These test methods 2,3,4 cover the atomic absorption determination of nickel in water and wastewaters. Three test methods are given as follows:




Test Method A—Atomic Absorption,  Direct

 0.1 to 10 mg/L

7 – 16

Test Method B—Atomic Absorption,  Chelation-Extraction

 10 to 1000 μg/L

17 – 26

Test Method C—Atomic Absorption,  Graphite Furnace

 5 to 100 μg/L

27 – 36

1.2 Test Methods A, B, and C have been used successfully with reagent grade water and natural waters. Evaluation of Test Method C was also made in condensate from a medium Btu coal gasification process. It is the user's responsibility to ensure the validity of these test methods for other matrices.

1.3 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses are mathematical conversion to inch-pound units that are provided for information only and are not considered standard.

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 hazards statements, see Note 5, 11.8.1, 21.11, 23.7, and 23.10.

1.5 Two former colorimetric test methods were discontinued. Refer to Appendix X1 for historical information.

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Book of Standards Volume: 11.01
Developed by Subcommittee: D19.05
Pages: 11
DOI: 10.1520/D1886-14
ICS Code: 13.060.50