Columbia Analytical Services


Comprehensive Drinking Water Testing Now Offered


Columbia Analytical Services, Inc.’s Kelso laboratory recently expanded its analytical chemistry capabilities to include a full suite of Drinking Water (DW) procedures. Along with the more conventional inorganic analytes, CAS has added the following organic methods to provide a comprehensive array of drinking water testing:

A new laboratory specifically designed for semi-volatile organic DW testing is now operational. The laboratory is fitted with all new instrumentation, including an ion trap mass spectrometer, a 6890 gas chromatograph with electron capture detectors (GC/ECD), and a high performance liquid chromatograph (HPLC) with post column derivitization. Sample preparation is performed primarily using automated solid phase extraction. The new laboratory is dedicated to drinking water analyses exclusively to prevent cross contamination from environmental samples. CAS, already a leader in providing legally defensible data and electronic deliverables to the environmental sector, provides the same level of technical quality and integrity for drinking water determinations. Unlike the environmental sector, drinking water testing has not received the same level of scrutiny as other analytical testing related to public safety.

Validation of test results is seldom performed. In fact, the end users of the data, i.e. public water systems, seldom require the reporting of quality control results. When choosing a laboratory to provide analyses for compliance purposes, it is advisable for public water systems to ensure that the data they are receiving is legally defensible and for their selected laboratory to be able to provide all the necessary documentation and demonstration of quality control outlined in the specific methods, upon request. A state certification does not guarantee that the data is reliable or defensible. All data reported by CAS is documented and legally defensible regardless of the level of reporting to the end user.

A primary objective of the CAS Drinking Water Program is to meet the anticipated increase in regulatory oversight of laboratory data for drinking water. CAS has incorporated the same high standards of Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA/QC) to this testing that we have in the environmental field. Our corporate QA/QC systems and active Ethics Program are the impetus for meeting the evolving need for reliable DW results.

In addition to the testing performed in CAS’ Kelso lab, CAS Houston is certified for dioxins in drinking water in a number of states through NELAP reciprocity and individual state programs. Dioxin (2,3,7,8 TCDD) is regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act. The EPA MCL for TCDD is 30 ppq. Individual states often regulate dioxins at even lower levels.

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