Chemicals Analysis Case Study

hrl: ensures safety of water treatment chemicals for major supplier


The water industry in Australia follows a strict set of guidelines, the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, with a specific section on water treatment chemicals. For some time, this section has been largely ignored, but with a renewed focus on compliance by water authorities including specific tender requirements in some instances water providers are increasingly motivated to ensure they meet the standards.

One major supplier of water treatment chemicals to the water supply industry needed to test its chemicals for trace metals and other active ingredients, ensuring their products met the guideline requirements.


The client engaged hrl: which has a specialist water treatment testing team who have developed a leading methodology with National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accreditation. This methodology includes a range of testing methods, specific to each water treatment chemical including:

  • Aluminium-based chemicals
  • Iron-based chemicals
  • Acids such as HCL and H2SO4
  • Bases such as NaOH
  • Sodium and Calcium Hypochlorite
  • Sodium Bisulphite
  • Potassium Permanganate
  • Ammonia
  • Soda Ash
  • Raw materials used for the manufacturing of the chemicals such as high purity water and brine, metals etc

After completing its comprehensive testing process, hrl: supplied a one-page report for each chemical tested including its specifications, the test result, and whether that result complied with the specification or failed. All of this was completed and documented in line with NATA requirements.


The client was very happy with the quality and timeliness of the work completed, and has since engaged hrl: to complete this testing on an ongoing basis. This involves testing and reporting of the data each  month, with two internal experts dedicated to this project. The client now has peace of mind that they are complying with specifications. The client also receives compliance certificates, which can be provided to potential buyers of the chemicals as proof of their compliance and safety. 


"For certain alleged foreign matter complaints in our products we need not only the analytical services provided by the lab there at HRL, but particularly the expert opinion of scientists such as Greg Richards to give an independent opinion on the ...

Andrew Penncuick

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