USGS Test Method I-2030-89

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Method Name:
Alkalinity of water samples. Official Name: Alkalinity, Electrometric Titration, Automated

Alkalinity is determined by titrating the water sample with a standard solution of a strong acid. The end point of the titration is selected as pH 4.5.

This method is suitable for analyzing water with any amount of alkalinity. Sample aliquots for analysis and maximum titration volume of standard acid will depend on specifications in the manufacturer's instruction manual.

Methods for the Determination of Inorganic Substances in Water and Fluvial Sediments, Techniques of Water-Resources Investigations of the United States Geological Survey, Book 5, Chapter A1 Edited by Marvin J. Fishman and Linda C. Friedman

Any ionized substance that reacts with a strong acid can contribute to alkalinity if the reaction occurs at a pH above that of the specified end point; examples are salts of weak inorganic and organic acids. Oils and greases, if present, may tend to foul the electrode and prevent its proper operation.

QC Requirements:
Quality-control samples area analyzed at a minimum of one in every ten samples. These QC samples include at least one of each of the following: blanks, quality control samples, third party check solutions, replicates, and spikes. Correlation coefficients for calibration curves must be at least 0.99. QC samples must fall within 1.5 standard deviations of the mean value. If all of the data-acceptance criteria in the SOPs are met, then the analytical data are acceptable.

Maximum Holding Time:
30 days from sampling



0.0-1000 mg/L as CaCO3 (undiluted)

The standard deviation for the alkalinity within the range of 18.4 to 303 mg/L for 17 samples was found to be independent of concentration. The 95-percent confidence interval for the average standard deviation of 6.7 mg/L ranged from 5.8 to 7.9 mg/L (as mg/L CaCO3).

Method detection limits (MDLs) were determined for this method using the procedures of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1997).

Revision Number:

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