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Chemistry Laboratory Operations:
The Division of Water Resources Chemistry Laboratory (Water Sciences Section) 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 three branches: Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Support. The Inorganic Chemistry Branch includes Microbiology, Metals, Nutrients and Wet Chemistry. The Organic Chemistry Branch includes Semi-Volatiles (Semi-Volatiles, Pesticides, Gel Chromatography Extractions) extractions and analysis, and Volatiles. The Support Branch provides assistance to both sample collectors and lab 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, Groundwater studies, Wetlands), 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 sections of DWR (Water Sciences Section, Surface Water Protection, and Aquifer Protection), the Division of Waste Management's Underground Storage Tank (UST) Section, universities, and federal agencies (USGS, Fish & Wildlife).
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