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Chemistry Laboratory Operations:
The Water Sciences Section's Chemistry Laboratory is committed to protecting and enhancing North Carolina's surface and ground water resources for the citizens of North Carolina and future generations. The laboratory strives to achieve this goal by providing the highest quality analytical data and exceptional service in the chemical analysis of environmental samples.
The Chemistry Laboratory is comprised of managers and supervisors, chemists, chemistry technicians, and administrative and support staff. The main laboratory facility is located in Raleigh, NC, and is referred to as the Central Laboratory. A satellite lab (ARO Lab) is located in Swannannoa, NC (Asheville Regional Office) and provides assistance with time-sensitive tests.
The Central Laboratory consists of two branches: Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, as well as Support. The Microbiology and Inorganic Chemistry Branch includes the Microbiology & Metals Unit, and the Inorganic Chemistry Unit (Nutrients and Wet Chemistry groups). The Organic Chemistry Branch includes Semi-Volatile Organics group (Semi-Volatiles, Pesticides, Gel Chromatography Extractions) and the Volatile Organics group. The Support group provides assistance to both sample collectors and laboratory units, and includes the sample receiving area.
The laboratory analyzes water samples collected from a variety of sources: creeks, streams, rivers, lakes, monitoring wells, water supply wells, effluent discharges, and Undergorund Storage Tanks (UST). Many of the water samples are submitted as a part of routine monitoring (Ambient Monitoring Program, Random Ambient Monitoring, Groundwater studies, lake monitoring), but also include samples for compliance monitoring, fish kills, complaints, and emergency situations.
In addition to water samples, the laboratory analyzes samples of soil, sediment, and fish tissue for metals and organic compounds. The lab also features a Mercury Clean Room for analyzing mercury at very low levels.
The laboratory's clients include DWR (Water Sciences Section, Regional offices), the Division of Waste Management's Underground Storage Tank (UST) Section, universities, and federal agencies (USGS, Fish & Wildlife).
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