Articles & Case Studies

Thermo Fisher Scientific ICP instrumentation selected by Thames Water to Perform Fast and Accurate Drinking Water Analyses

Posted: Wednesday 22nd April 2009

Thames Water, the UK’s largest water and wastewater services company, has chosen the powerful Thermo Scientific iCAP 6000 Series ICP emission spectrometer for the detection and quantification of trace elements in drinking water samples. Thames Water carries out over half a million water quality tests each year to ensure the quality of its drinking water and environmental compliance of treated wastewater. With such a high analytical throughput, the company requires highly reliable analytical instrumentation for its routine analyses. The iCAP 6000 Series helps Thames Water accurately measure the trace element content of potable water, ensuring the water supplied to its customers complies with strict regulations governing the UK water industry.

Thames Water offers extended analytical capabilities in microbiology, organic and inorganic chemistry, materials testing and metals analysis. The company is independently regulated by the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) which monitors and enforces regulations on behalf of the Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). The DWI imposes stringent standards on laboratories, with over 50 different parameters that are used to assess the quality of drinking water. Thames Water requires an instrument to cope with repeatable elemental analyses of all sample types to improve its analytical process and enable the company to comply with the strict standards set out by the DWI.

Thames Water have now purchased three iCAP 6000 Series instruments to support their move to centralized laboratory testing, based on Thermo Fisher Scientific’s proven track record of providing cost-effective instruments and strong customer support. Faced with space-efficiency issues, the company also looked to the iCAP 6000 thanks to its compact footprint. Mr. Graham Coe, analytical manager at Thames Water comments “The initial decision to purchase the iCAP was based on its size. It is exceptionally space-efficient. Additionally it is very current in its technology, extremely ergonomically friendly and crucially meets all our analytical requirements providing precise results quickly and efficiently.”

A key advantage of the iCAP 6000 Series in a high throughput laboratory is its excellent stability and resistance to drift. This enhanced stability is directly translated into a higher frequency of QC checks being within limits regulated by the DWI, resulting in fewer samples needing to be re-tested. Additionally, the high specification optical design of the iCAP 6000 provides excellent resolution and sensitivity, delivering up to a five-fold improvement in detection capability thanks to its revolutionary optics and detector technology.

The iCAP 6000 is supported by iTEVA software, further strengthening the unmatched speed, stability and flexibility offered by this instrumentation. iTEVA allows full multi-tasking flexibility, enabling the editing of the active sample lists whilst automated analytical operations are occurring. In a high throughput laboratory where efficient analysis is crucial, iTEVA guarantees data integrity while maintaining fast storage and access facilities. For Thames Water the iCAP provides ultimate flexibility and productivity, offering fast, reliable and simplified performance for routine analysis of its water samples.

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