Work Item
ASTM WK74312

New Test Method for Bioavailable Aluminum in Water with Suspended Solids

1. Scope

1.1.This test method covers the determination of bioavailable aluminum in water using an extraction procedure at a pH of 4 and an aging period of 3 hours or more following the addition of acid. 1.2.This test method is designed to be used to assess the potential for aluminum in water samples to be toxic to aquatic life (Patricio et al.2019). 1.3.This test method is applicable to waters containing dissolved, polymeric and mineral forms of aluminum and is applicable to concentrations ranging from 0.01-5 mg/L.


environmental; toxicity; water quality; EPA


The USEPA has established water quality criteria for aluminum. Many US States have adopted these criteria and require dischargers to meet water quality standards placed in their discharge permit. No direct relationship between dissolved Al and toxicity was shown for a wide variety of aquatic organisms in chronic toxicity studies. Toxicity does, however, correlate with aluminum measurements obtain using the pH 4 extraction method. Natural water and wastewater frequently contain significant levels of suspended solids (25-300 mg/L) containing minerals high in aluminum. Regulatory authorities often recommend measurement of total recoverable aluminum which uses a strong acid digestion. This digestion procedure results in most or all of the inert non-toxic Al present in suspended solids being dissolved and the metal reported as total or total recoverable. This new method (pH 4 extraction) measures aqueous bioavailable aluminum not associated with suspended solids providing a closer approximation of toxic aluminum concentration.

The title and scope are in draft form and are under development within this ASTM Committee.


Developed by Subcommittee: D19.05

Committee: D19

Staff Manager: Brian Milewski

Work Item Status

Date Initiated: 10-07-2020

Technical Contact: William Adams

Item: 001

Ballot: D19.05 (21-01)

Status: Will Reballot Item