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Significance and Use
Potassium occurs in rocks in a form that is not easily solubilized; therefore, the potassium content of natural waters is usually low. Most natural waters contain less than 20 mg/L of potassium, but waters containing several hundred milligrams per litre are occasionally found. Potassium is essential to animal nutrition, but a concentration of 1000 to 2000 mg/L in stock water is regarded as the extreme limit permissible.
1.1 This test method covers the determination of low amounts of potassium in waters having low solids content. The applicable range of this test method is 0.20 to 4.0 mg/L when using the 766.5-nm resonance line. The range may be extended upward by dilution of an appropriate aliquot of sample or by using the less-sensitive 404.4-nm resonance line. Many workers have found that this test method is reliable for potassium levels to 0.02 mg/L, but use of this test method at this low level is dependent on the configuration of the aspirator and nebulizer systems available in the atomic absorption spectrophotometer as well as the skill of the analyst. The precision and bias data presented are insufficient to justify use of this test method in the 0.02-mg/L range.
1.2 This test method has been used successfully with spiked reagent water. It is the analyst's responsibility to ensure the validity of this test method to other low dissolved solids matrices.
1.3 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 a specific precautionary statement, see Note 3.
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