ARA Newsletter Logo- Resource RamblerSeptember 2020

Coming Soon:  Isotope Dilution for PFAS

ARA is nailing down the final certification details as we add Isotope Dilution for PFAS to our bag of tricks. EPA Method 533 was released in late 2019 for the Determination of Per and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances in Drinking Water by Isotope Dilution Anion Exchange Solid Phase Extraction & Liquid Chromatography / Tandem  Mass Spectrometry. 


ARA  will  be  utilizing  the  Isotope Dilution methodology to expand the analyte list and account for matrix interferences. ARA is currently certified for EPA Method 537.1 and plans to add the Isotope Dilution method for PFAS in Q4 2020. If you have questions or need PFAS testing on your next project, give ARA a call or send an email.


Merrimack Student Investigates PFAS

In July, ARA was contacted by a student from Merrimack High School named John who was enrolled in an AP Chemistry class. Students were asked to create a science fair presentation about a  chemistry-related  subject over the summer break. For his project, John chose to study levels of PFAS in Merrimack tap water. 


PFAS  is  a  timely  topic  nationwide,  but  John  knew  he would have plenty of data to work with, as his home town is one of the country's "hot spots" for PFAS contamination. He reached out  to  ARA  with  questions  about  PFAS  testing,  and  we  were thrilled to support John’s efforts by providing him with sampling containers,  lab  analysis,  and  access  to  our  chemists  as  he tackled his project. Grades have not been posted yet, but ARA definitely gives John an ‘A’! Great work John!

John's PFAS Project


Sputtering Faucets? NHDES Wants to Know!

As  part  of  the  state's  emergency  response  to  drought conditions  in  NH,  the  NHDES  has  created  a  Well  Impact Survey to find ways to help the nearly half of NH residents who don't receive municipal / public water services. The information about private well water  availability  and  drought  related economic  impacts  will  be  used to  assess potential  disaster  assistance  requests.  In addition  to  private  well  users, pump installers and well drillers are also being encouraged to complete the short survey. FMI and to complete the survey, visit:


Unattended Buildings & Uninvited Guests

The tangled web of the Coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve. Due to an increase in buildings closing or remaining unattended for regulatory and safety reasons related to the pandemic, health experts are now warning the public to be aware  that  buildings  left  vacant for months at a time can become breeding grounds for things like mold, pests, legionella bacteria, as well as lead and copper in the water. 


Mold  and  various  pests  can  thrive  in  a  warm,  moist  and undisturbed  environment.  The  ideal  environment  for  indoor molds (moisture content greater than 20%, relative humidity above 60%, temperature  above  68°  F)  combined  with  a sudden halt to routine cleanings and human activity may lead to an increase in unhealthy  indoor  environments.  Building managers  are  encouraged  to  conduct  a  thorough  building inspection before re-occupancy.


Legionella,  lead  and  copper  are  also  of  concern  as  water systems sit unused in these buildings. When there is low or no water  use,  biofilm  growth  and  corrosion  can  cause  water contamination. If your pipes have been stagnant, it is advised that you flush the system, have the water quality tested by a certified  lab,  and  perform  a  thorough  Legionella  inspection before re-opening. Regardless of the pandemic, The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommends monitoring of building water supply systems on a regular basis.


Mold  and  legionella  can  be  particularly  problematic  for individuals  who  are  already  immunocompromised  and considered at high risk for contracting COVID-19. If you work in or manage a building that remains vacant for an extended period,  give  ARA  a  call  to  perform  an  Indoor  Air  Quality assessment, Water Quality Test, and/or Legionella inspection.



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