Clean Water Works

An Introduction to the Lab

January 10, 2023 Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District Season 1 Episode 11
Clean Water Works
An Introduction to the Lab
Show Notes

Analytical Services is the name of the Sewer District's laboratory, where water samples are tested for various toxicants and characteristics.

Supervising Chemist Debmalya Bhattacharyya explains the lab's testing methods for determining what's in the wastewater and making sure that the treated water is safe to re-introduce into Lake Erie.

Some acronyms and terms used in this episode:

NPDES: National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, which regulates point sources that discharge pollutants to waters of the United States.
WET: Whole Effluent Toxicity, a lab test that measure wastewater's effects on certain organisms' ability to survive, grow, and reproduce.
ICP: Inductive Coupled Plasma Spectroscopy, a technique that measures and identifies elements within a sample based on the ionization of those elements.
GCMS: Gas Chromatography Mass Spectroscopy
Mass Spec: short for Mass Spectrometer, an instrument that can measure the mass-to-charge ratio (m/z) of one or more molecules present in a sample.
PFAS: Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances.
qPCR: Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction, a technology used for measuring nucleic acid in DNA and RNA.
NELAP: National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program
QA/QC: Quality Assurance and Quality Control