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In This Section:

The Standard Methods Organization

Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater is the result of a joint effort by three technical societies:

American Public Health Association (APHA) American Water Works Association (AWWA) Water Environment Federation (WEF)

The responsibility for the managerial aspects of the publication and distribution of Standard Methods lies with the principal executives of the participating societies:

Georges C. Benjamin, M.D., FACP

David LaFrance

Dr. Eileen O'Neill

The Joint Editorial Board

The responsibility for the content of Standard Methods lies with the Joint Editorial Board (JEB), which consists of a representative from each sponsoring society:

Dr. Ellen Braun-Howland
New York State Dept. of Health
P.O. Box 509
Albany, NY 12201

Dr. Andrew D. Eaton
Technical Director
Eurofins Eaton Analytical
750 Royal Oaks Drive #100
Monrovia, CA 91016
FAX: 626-628-3493

Dr. Terry E. Baxter
Professor, Environmental Engineering
Northern Arizona University
Civil & Environmental Engineering Department
2112 S. Huffer Ln., Bldg. 69
P.O. Box 15600
Flagstaff, AZ 86011-1560
FAX: 928-523-2300

Nathan Edman (AWWA, 6666 West Quincy Avenue, Denver, CO 80235; 303-347-6241; FAX: 303-795-7603, E-mail: nedman@awwa.org) is Standard Methods Manager and acts as secretary to the JEB.

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Part Coordinators

The JEB is assisted by Part Coordinators (PCs) assigned to coordinate and review sections within a part of Standard Methods as existing sections are revised and new sections are developed. Current PCs are:

Part 1000 Introduction
Dr. Terry E. Baxter
Part 6000 Individual Organic Compounds
John R. Gumpper
Vice President and Senior Chemist
ChemVal Consulting, Inc.
2940 Oakridge Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84109
FAX: 801-247-8489

Part 2000 Physical and Aggregate Properties
Dr. Terry E. Baxter
Part 7000 Radioactivity
Robert T. Shannon
Technical Consultant
Quality Radioanalytical Support, LLC
P.O. Box 774
Grand Marais, MN 55604

Part 3000 Metals
Jennifer Calles
Laboratory Superintendent
City of Phoenix
Water Services Department
2474 S. 22nd Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85009

Part 8000 Toxicity
Dr. Mary Ann Rempel-Hester
Aquatic Toxicology Support
1849 Charleston Beach Road W
Bremerton, WA 98312

Part 4000 Inorganic Nonmetallic Constituents
William C. Lipps
Shimadzu Scientific Instruments, Inc.
7102 Riverwood Drive
Columbia, MD 21046-2502

Part 9000 Microbiological Examination
Jennifer Best
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
26 W. Martin Luther King Dr
Cincinnati, OH 45268

Part 5000 Aggregate Organic Constituents
Robin S. Parnell
Hampton Roads Sanitation District
1432 Air Rail Avenue
Virginia Beach, VA 23455

Part 10000 Biological Examination
Dr. Ann St. Amand
PhycoTech, Inc.
620 Broad Street, Suite 100
St. Joseph, MI 49085

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The Standard Methods Committee

The Standard Methods Committee (SMC) functions as the primary consensus group. This committee is comprised of members from the three sponsoring societies and others who may not be members of any of the sponsoring societies. The SMC votes on each method in Standard Methods according to procedures designed to ensure the development of a consensus document.

Joint Task Groups

Joint Task Groups (JTGs) function as the primary working committees for review and revision of existing methods and development of new methods. JTGs have anywhere from five to fifteen members and function at the direction of a chair. While the recruitment of a JTG Chair is the responsibility of the JEB Liaison and the PC, appointment of the JTG Chair is officially done by the JEB Liaison assigned to the part where the section is located.

JEB Liaisons to individual parts are as follows:

Ellen Braun-Howland: 8000, 9000, 10000
Andrew D. Eaton: 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000
Terry E. Baxter: 1000, 2000, 7000

Membership on JTGs is selective and is usually based on the need for members competent in the areas related to the scope of work and charge to the JTG. While the recruitment of JTG members is the responsibility of the JEB Liaison, the PC, and the JTG Chair, appointment of JTG members is officially done by the JEB Liaison assigned to the part where the section is located. This is done after receipt of a proposed member list from the JTG Chair via the PC.

It also is important that JTG members return ballots issued in the JTG. It is Standard Methods policy that if a JTG member fails to return a JTG ballot without reason, the JTG Chair MAY drop that person from the JTG. If there is only one JTG ballot issued, failure to return it means that the voter will not be recognized as a JTG member in the resulting edition. It also can jeopardize a member's eligibility for a complimentary copy of that edition (See General Ballot Response).

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General Balloting

Negative ballots and those with comments are scanned and distributed to the JEB, the PC and the JTG Chair for resolution (negatives) or consideration for inclusion in the section (comments). Here are some suggestions to make certain your comments are given the attention they deserve:

  1. Type your comments on a separate sheet of paper.

  2. If you need to comment on the manuscript, write legibly on a copy of the page.

  3. Do not return the entire manuscript. You may need to refer to it if a reballot occurs, so please retain manuscripts for future reference.

  4. Do not write in pencil because it does not scan well.

  5. Do not use a highlight marker on the manuscript. It will not scan well.

Some ballots are returned with all the questions answered but no box checked for a vote. Some are returned without signatures. Read the ballot carefully so misvoting does not occur.

Four weeks are given for a ballot issue with a one week grace period. Please return your ballots by the closing date. An E-mail reminder is sent one week before the ballot closes.

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Unsolicited Ballots

We occasionally receive ballots from persons who are not members of the SMC. Most often, this is due to an SMC member asking a colleague to comment on the section under consideration. This is acceptable as long as the SMC member's signature appears on the ballot. There is no problem with a SMC member giving sections to a co-worker or employee who might be more knowledgeable in certain areas. But we cannot accept ballots from non-members without a member's signature indicating to us that the member has approved of the vote or comments.

If you're not a member of the SMC and have been asked to review ballots, contact the Standard Methods Manager for an application form to become a member.

Negative Votes

It is the policy of the Joint Editorial Board (JEB) to give equal consideration to all comments resulting from general Standard Methods Committee voting whether they appear on affirmative or negative ballots. Negative votes should be cast only when specific, substantive technical objections are stated which, if not corrected, will compromise the validity of the method.

All negative votes are answered but some must be reclassified as editorial because they are in conflict with an established editorial or procedural policy which the JEB is not prepared to change for the edition currently under consideration. Editorial comments, correcting English or arithmetic in the method, also are encouraged but they do not constitute the basis for a negative vote. Negative votes cast on the basis of such editorial comments will be reclassified.

All negatives MUST be accompanied by a statement of the specific technical objections to the method. Adequate supporting data must be provided to justify each technical objection to the method.

A legitimate negative vote has a tremendous impact on the Standard Methods process. When such a vote occurs, the method must be modified and a reballot may be required. Reballots are issued to all members who voted negatively or affirmatively on the first ballot. If the change in the method is substantive, as it most certainly would be, additional round-robin testing may be required. Obviously, this is a time-consuming and costly process but according to Joint Editorial Board policies, it is necessary.

The result is that we subject negative votes in Standard Methods to a careful evaluation. To be considered a legitimate negative vote, a ballot must be accompanied by a comment. The comment must be technical in nature (as opposed to an editorial comment) and must be accompanied by compelling evidence that, unless the method is modified, the result will be unacceptably compromised. Only rarely do the comments that we get in the balloting process meet this standard. Those which do not are forwarded to the next JTG Chair for that section and the JEB reviews them in preparing the JTG's charge. Often such comments are the stimulation for an early establishment of a JTG.

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General Ballot Response

Please remember that it is the responsibility of members to make every effort to return ballots. If you are not returning ballots because you are uninterested in the sections you receive, please contact the Standard Methods Manager so your Abstention Ballot can be revised. This will allow you to receive ballots only in those parts in which you have an interest.

The Joint Editorial Board has instituted a policy that requires a Standard Methods Committee member to return at least 50% of general ballots received in order to be eligible for a complimentary seat for Standard Methods Online (New Members) or to retain their seats (Current Members).

Please help maintain the integrity of the Standard Methods balloting process by promptly returning general ballots.

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