Lab Matters Fall Winter 2021 - Page 15

FROM THE BENCH
( PWS ). It is a 3,000 square foot facility built in 2008 , and serves an area of about 150,000 people . It is a large laboratory for a PWS , and produces around 60,000 analytical results per year with only three full-time employees . The laboratory monitors five reservoirs , one river , in-plant process control samples , finished tap water , a distribution system and wastewater effluent . CEL ’ s overarching purpose is to protect the public health by ensuring PWS compliance with US EPA NPDWR .
CEL is divided into two sections . The 750-square-foot Microbiology Section ’ s purpose is ensuring compliance with the US EPA RTCR , as well as performing culture for other microorganisms of interest . It also has the capability to identify and enumerate algae and cyanobacteria by flow-imaging microscopy , and molecular assays by quantitative polymerase chain reaction ( qPCR ) ( e . g ., cyanotoxin-producing genes , zebra mussels , etc .). The 2,250-square-foot
Analytical Section performs a suite of analyses for PWS to ensure compliance with the US EPA LCR , DBPR2 , UCMR , and NPDES . Analyses include :
• General wet chemistry
• Non-purgeable organic carbon ( NPOC )
• Determination of anions and cations by ion chromatography ( IC ); metals by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry ( ICP-MS ); disinfection by-products ( DBPs ) including total trihalomethanes ( TTHMs ) and hydrocarbon determination by purge and trap gas chromatographymass spectrometry ( P & T GC-MS ); and haloacetic acids ( HAA 5
) by gas chromatography-electron capture detector ( GC-ECD )
• Taste and odor ( T & O ) compounds by solid phase microextraction ( SPME ) GC-MS / ECD , and unknowns by Fouriertransform infrared spectroscopy ( FTIR ).
This section ’ s goal is to analyze samples for any common contaminant found in water , with emergency response kits on standby for unknown contaminants .
A Changing Perspective
APHL and the Water Environment Federation ( WEF ) have long recognized that there are several types of laboratories that should be promoted as being part of the public health system ( i . e ., water , wastewater , food , agriculture ). Each of these laboratory types focus on one particular niche , but generate data that drives decision making for public health . This change in understanding should become widespread and will be highlighted in a forthcoming joint APHL / AWWA / WEF article in WEF ’ s WE & T magazine , and the WEF / CDC collaborative Public Health Conference & Wastewater-based Epidemiology Summit .
If you have questions , please contact Hunter Adams ( hunter . adams @ wichitafallstx . gov ) or Mark Southard ( mark . southard @ wichitafallstx . gov ). n

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May 17 – 20 , 2022 Huntington Convention Center Cleveland , OH

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Fall / Winter 2021 LAB MATTERS 13