How to automate traditional wet chemistry workflow

Drinking and Wastewater Analysis

As the world is continuously faced with environmental challenges, compliance standards and regulations must be met along with them. Soil analysis, drinking water analysis, sewage water and wastewater analysis are all required to protect the environment and our public health. Environmental contaminants to be analyzed may include inorganic anions, cations, heavy metals, organic pollutants and nutrients. The United States Environmental Protection Agencies (USEPA) Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA) are the two important environmental laws governing water regulations. Clean Water Act Methods Update Rule for the Analysis of Effluent 40 CFR part 136 and many of the regulatory bodies, such as the ASTM, ISO, DIN recommends wet chemical methods wastewater analysis.

Wastewater surveillance of COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving area of research that holds great promise as an early, cost-effective, unbiased community-level indicator of the presence of COVID-19. Persistence of the genetic signal will be impacted by: pH, ammonia, phosphate and other nutrients.  Other water quality parameters can provide information about the operational status of the water resource recovery facility. This can be useful in identifying the occurrence of events that may impact the strength of the genetic signal.

Manufacturing industries consuming large volumes of water produce both hazardous and non-hazardous wastewater. Treating this wastewater and reusing it is a key challenge for companies seeking to maintain a profitable operation while protecting the environment. Reclaimed or recycled water is produced by conversion of wastewater into water that can be reused for other purposes. These waters are adequately treated to meet “fit-for-purpose specifications” for next use. Wastewater testing serves two purposes:

  1. To indicate that treatment in place is working for re-use purposes.
  2. Industrial wastewater is safe before it’s discharged into surface waters in accordance with regulations.

EPA sets legal limits on over 90 contaminants in drinking water. National primary drinking water regulations (NPDWR) includes inorganic and organic chemicals, disinfection byproducts and disinfectants determination by wet chemical and ion chromatography methods.

Migrating from traditional wet chemistry workflow

Automated nutrient analysis and water quality monitoring

Traditional water testing involves – multiple wet chemical instruments for multiple parameters such as Nutrient analysis, pH, Conductivity, alkalinity and hardness etc. Each test requires a separate sample and often multiple sequential steps which extends the testing process. With slow processes and the need for specialist staff to run and monitor equipment, water quality testing is labor-intensive, time-consuming and inefficient. Routine water testing can be costly and time consuming for a laboratory that performs routine nutrients, ground water, drinking water and wastewater analysis while experiencing increased demand for the routine analytical services.

Feature Comparison Wet Chemistry

Traditional wet chemistry methods like titration or ISE sequentially measure individual test parameters. For each parameter, dedicated ISE are necessary and have limited shelf lives. Each titration parameter needs a dedicated burette and sensor, as the number of parameters per sample increases, the overall system complexity increases, resulting in long hands-on sample and response times.

Consolidated high throughput water analysis workflow

Consolidated multiparameter discrete analysis now offers a solution to these difficulties and offers high throughput wet chemical analysis workflow. Discrete analyzers, which consolidate and simultaneously test for up to 20 parameters — using a single instrument with a single operator. Gallery and Gallery Plus discrete analyzers are easy-to-use, automated systems that allow laboratories to simplify their testing with dual benefits: time and cost savings. All necessary analysis steps are automated, providing true walkaway time for the operator. Both Gallery and Gallery Plus instruments provide an integrated platform for two measurement techniques, photometric and electrochemical (pH and conductivity), which can be run simultaneously. Parallel determination of several analytes from a single sample as well as the presence of several automated features ensures analytical efficiency.

Consolidated High throughput water analysis workflow

pH and conductivity for 100 samples can be tested simultaneously in less than 90 minutes, while the system is measuring alkalinity, hardness and other parameters. While traditional analysis requires multiple wet chemistry methods and, therefore, multiple samples, the Gallery discrete analyzer consumes a maximum of 300 μL of sample per test, can test for up to 20 parameters per sample, and runs up to 200 tests per hour.

Our discrete analyzers automate photometric and electrochemical analysis provide fast, reproducible results that allow laboratories to measure multiple analytes simultaneously, while reducing total analysis and operator time.

  • Integrated platform for photometric and electrochemical analysis can be operated simultaneously 
  • Ability to achieve detection of very low levels (ppb). 
  • Contamination-free analysis using disposable cuvettes. 
  • Continuous access to samples, reagents, and cuvettes without interruption of routine workflows. 
  • Large concentration range measurement, with excellent reproducibility.

An optional electrochemical measurement (ECM) module can be integrated into Gallery discrete analyzers to support parallel automated pH and conductivity measurements alongside the photometric testing. ECM is suitable for raw water, ground water, sea water, rainwater, municipal water, drinking water and wastewater.

Gallery system reagents for drinking water and wastewater analysis

Ready-to-use reagents for environmental analysis

Eliminate reagent preparation, save time and reduce errors using Thermo Scientific Gallery system reagents for environmental testing. These reagents can be used for analyses of environmental waters (clean water, wastewater, soil and sludge digests, effluents, and saline) and industrial/process waters.

Gallery system reagent kits include 1 to 3 reagents per kit. Reagents come in 20 mL barcoded vials, allowing identification data, such as lot and expiration date, to be read automatically by barcode reader in your Thermo Scientific Gallery discrete analyzer. These optimized kits also help minimize waste and increase cost efficiency.

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Thermo Scientific Gallery discrete analyzer with ready to use system reagents are optimized for speed, flexibility, and precision for drinking water and wastewater. The unique discrete cell technology allows laboratories to measure multiple analytes simultaneously while reducing total analysis and operator time. The unique low volume cuvette design accommodates small reagent volumes, minimizes reagent waste, and as a result, reduces reagent costs.

Thermo Scientific system reagents for automated discrete analyzers covers over 50 analytes. Ready to use reagents are easy to work with eliminating extra preparation steps and saving time and money.

The table below summarizes U.S. EPA, ASTM, DIN and other international regulatory approved discrete analyzer and Ion chromatography methods.

Gallery discrete analyzer

U.S. EPA and international reference methods

Regulatory methodsAnalytes
EPA 310.2
ISBN 0117516015
SMWW 2320 B
SM 3500-AI BAluminum*
EPA 350.1
ISO 7150
ISO 15923-1
DIN 38406
ISBN 0117516139
ISBN 0117515833Boron*
EPA 410.4COD*
EPA 325.2
EN ISO 15682
ISO 15923-1
ISBN 0117516260
SM 4500-Cl-E
EPA 330.5
SM4500-Cl G
EPA 120.1Conductivity
SM 3500-Cu CCopper
ASTM D2036-09(B)Cyanide
EPA 335.4Cyanide (Total)
EPA 340.3
SM 3500-F D
EPA 130.1Hardness (Total)
*Third party reagents; # after digestion
Regulatory methodsAnalytes
ISO 11083
DIN EN ISO 23913:2009
ASTM D1687-12(A)
SM 3500 Cr-B
SW 7196 A
Hexavalent chromium
ISO 6332-1988
SM 3500-Fe B
SM 3500-Fe BIron (Ferrous), Iron (Total)
ASTM D7781-14
ASTM D7781-14
(NECi) Nitrate
Reductase method for drinking water
(USGS I-2547-11
(USGS I-2548-11
(NECi) Method
Nitrate (TON ENz)
EPA 353.1
ISO 15923-1
ISBN 0117515930
SM 4500-NO3 H
Nitrate (TON Hyd)
NEMI (Nitrate via manual Vanadium (III) reduction)Nitrate (TON Vanadium)
EPA 354.1
ISO 13395:1996
ISO 15923-1
DIN EN 26777
ISBN 0117515930
SM 4500 NO2-B
EPA 150.2pH
Regulatory methodsAnalytes
EPA 420.1
ISBN 0117516171
Phenols (Total)
EPA 365.1
EN ISO 6878
ISO 15923-1
ISBN 0117515825
SM 4500 P-E
EPA 365.4
ISBN 0117518883
Phosphorus (Total)
EPA 370.1
ISO 15923-1
SM 4500 SiO2-C
USGS I-2700-85
EPA 375.4
ISO 15923-1
DIN 38405-D 5-2
ASTM D516-11
ISBN 0117533406
SM 4500 SO4-E
EPA 376.2
ISBN 011751718
SM 4500-S2 D
HMSO SCA Blue Book
SMWW 4500-CN-MThiocyanate*
EPA 351.2
ASTM D3590-11 (B)
ISBN 0117521299
SMWW 4500-N(Org)
Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen (TKN)

Ion chromatograph

U.S. EPA and international reference methods

Regulatory methodsAnalytes
EPA 302
EPA 317
EPA 321.8
EPA 326
ISO 11206
ASTM D6581Chlorite, bromate, bromide, chlorate
ASTM D7237Cyanide
EPA 300.0
ASTM D4327
Fluoride, chloride, nitrite, bromide, nitrate, ortho-phosphate, sulfate
EPA 300.1Fluoride, chloride, nitrite, bromide, nitrate, ortho-phosphate, sulfate, bromate, chlorite, chlorate
EPA 557HAAs, BrO3, dalapon
EPA 218.7
ASTM D5257
Hexavalent chromium
ISO 14911 ASTM
Lithium, sodium, potassium, ammonium, magnesium, calcium
ASTM D6994Metal cyanide
EPA 314.0
EPA 314.2
EPA 332
ISO 19340
ASTM D8001TKN, total phosphorus
Style Sheet for Global Design System
Style Sheet for Komodo Tabs
CMD Wide-format style fixes
CMD SchemaApp code