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EGLE now testing for PFAS using newest EPA testing methodology

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s (EGLE) Drinking Water Laboratory recently announced that it is now able to test for Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in drinking water using the newest U.S. EPA testing methodology known as Method 533.

Lab benchtop with test tubes on it.

Laboratory benchtop with test tubes on it. 


The move will not be noticeable to most customers who send drinking water samples to EGLE’s Lansing laboratory for PFAS testing. Nor will it change the state’s current regulatory standards. But it does offer advantages over the previous testing method. The laboratory has been testing for PFAS using EPA’s previous testing methodology, Method 537.1, since 2019.

Method 533 tests for twenty-five PFAS chemicals including the seven PFAS currently regulated in Michigan.  The newer method is the most current U.S. EPA methodology available today used for testing drinking water and will allow EGLE’s lab scientists to test for additional short-chain PFAS, which are of increasing interest to researchers and regulators.

The new method also provides longer “hold time” for samples (from 14 days to 28 days) which will reduce sample spoilage.

Beginning immediately the laboratory will fill all sample container orders with bottles for use with U.S. EPA Method 533. Sample container test kits will look identical to those used with U.S. EPA Method 537.1 but will include a new ammonium acetate preservative in the sample containers. The EGLE Laboratory will continue to accept samples collected in bottles containing Trizma® preservative for use with U.S. EPA Method 537.1 until June 1, 2023. After that date the laboratory will only accept and test samples using U.S. EPA Method 537.1 by special request to include the four PFAS not included in U.S. EPA Method 533 - NEtFOSAA, NMeFOSAA, PFTA, and PFTrDA.

Customers with sample containers containing Trizma® preservative for use with U.S. EPA Method 537.1 are encouraged to submit samples by June 1, 2023, or call the EGLE Drinking Water Laboratory at 517-335-8184 to exchange their sample containers or test kits for bottles used with the new U.S. EPA Method 533.