UCMR 4 Analyses

This page answers frequently asked questions (FAQs) and contains important information about the fourth round of the EPA's Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 4) program. Learn about our upcoming UCMR 4 workshop

What is UCMR 4?

The Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR) is an initiative by the EPA to monitor public drinking water for the occurrence of specific contaminants. The data collected regarding the exposure and occurrence of these contaminants is used to help improve regulatory decisions that affect public health. UCMR 4 is the fourth and most recent round of the rule.   

Choosing an EPA UCMR 4 Approved Lab

The EPA requires public water systems (PWSs) to use EPA approved laboratories. Babcock Labs is now an EPA UCMR 4 approved lab, fully certified to perform all UCMR 4 analyses. In order to receive EPA approval for UCMR 4, laboratories must successfully complete the EPA’s rigorous lab approval program, demonstrating their ability to meet UCMR 4 methods and guidelines. Since the inception of the program, Babcock Laboratories has been the industry’s trusted laboratory for UCMR testing services. In fact, Babcock Labs was one of the select few laboratories to take part in the EPA's research process concerning the development of reporting limits for various UCMR 4 methods.   

*The EPA states that HAA samples must be analyzed by a UCMR 4 EPA approved laboratory using EPA Method 552.3  or  EPA Method 557 ( see more ). 

*The EPA states that HAA samples must be analyzed by a UCMR 4 EPA approved laboratory using EPA Method 552.3 or EPA Method 557 (see more). 

Who does UCMR 4 Affect?

Starting in 2018, approximately 6,000 PWSs must participate in the UCMR 4 program, including all community water systems (CWSs) and non-transient non-community water systems (NTNCWSs) serving more than 10,000 people (i.e., large systems). Additionally, a selected list of 800 small CWSs and NTNCWSs serving between 25 – 10,000 people (i.e., small systems) are required to participate in the UCMR 4 program. 

important deadlines

PWS serving more than 10,000 people must adhere to the following deadlines: 

By December 31, 2017
Report contact information to SDWARS to review and, if necessary, revise: sampling location information and/or monitoring schedule in SDWARS

After December 31, 2017, as soon as possible
Notify EPA of sampling location and inventory changes or if unable to sample according to the established schedule

Babcock Labs is a UCMR 4 testing laboratory, approved by the US EPA for all analyses required by the fourth round of the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule program. This page shows all assessment monitoring (AM) methods required by UCMR 4, including EPA methods for metals, pesticides, semivolatile organic compounds, alcohols, haloacetic acids, and cyanotoxins.

Do you have questions about UCMR 4? We're here to help!

Sampling schedule

Below is the sampling schedule for PWS based on contaminant type, water source type, timeframe, and frequency of sampling events:

UCMR4 testing schedule

Notes: ground water under direct influence of surface water (GWUDI); ground water (GW); sampling events (SE); surface water (SW)


EPA Methods

Below are the EPA Methods required for each contaminant categorization on the UCMR 4 list:

UCMR4 EPA Methods

Babcock Labs has received certification for each round of UCMR since the beginning of the program over fifteen years ago. Our experience with the program and our expert staff make Babcock Labs an excellent resource for UCMR 4 questions and testing services. Whether you have questions about program requirements, are looking for a quote or to begin the planning process, or are interested in sample collection, analysis, and reporting services - we are here to help! Contact us today


The EPA states that HAA samples must be analyzed by a UCMR 4 EPA approved laboratory using EPA Method 552.3 or EPA Method 557 (both of which are compliance methods also approved for analysis of D/DBPRs samples). Total Organic Carbon (TOC) and bromide must be analyzed by methods already approved for compliance monitoring. Babcock Labs is approved to perform EPA Method 300.1 for Bromide and SM5310B for TOC.