Scottish Trace Element & Micronutrient Reference Laboratory

Scotland's specialised laboratory for trace elements and vitamins in health and disease

Water for dialysis

It is now mandatory that water used in haemodialysis is initially purified by reverse osmosis. The Renal Association has published guidelines recommending limits of various trace elements and pathogens in reverse osmosis water.66  It is suggested that full chemical analysis of purified water should be carried out every 3 months.

Sample Requirements and Reference Values for Water

Samples Reverse osmosis water, tap water*
Container Universal container. Sarstedt containers (product number: 63.9922.252) are suitable.
Precautions Zinc and aluminium are found in the lid insert of some Universal containers (eg. Sterilin) and can contaminate the sample.
Minimum volume* 1.0 mL
Element Renal Association guideline limits for RO water UK prescribed concentration values for drinking water
Aluminium 10 µg/L 200 µg/L
Calcium 2 mg/L 250 mg/L
Copper 100 µg/L 2000 µg/L
Lead 5 µg/L 10 µg/L
Magnesium 4 mg/L 50 mg/L
Potassium 8 mg/L 12 mg/L
Silver 5 µg/L 10 µg/L
Sodium 70 mg/L 200 mg/L
Zinc 100 µg/L 5000 µg/L
Mean turnaround time 3.5 days
Method Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry
EQA Scheme Aluminium in water scheme, UK NEQAS, Guildford.

* For assessment of lead in water, two samples are recommended; a first draw sample in the morning and a further sample taken after running the water for 5 - 10 mins.



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