Microbiology and Inorganic Chemistry Branch
Branch Manager: Roy Byrd
The Microbiology and Inorganic Chemistry Branch of the Water Sciences Section is located in the Central Laboratory building in Raleigh, NC. The Branch is comprised of three units and one regional lab:
The branch is responsible for the receipt of samples for the Central and ARO labs; analysis of submitted samples for bacteriological, metals, nutrients, and a variety of other inorganic parameters; and assistance to laboratory and field staff.
The Central Laboratory analytical units and the regional lab analyze water samples collected from a variety of sources across North Carolina that include:
Many of the water samples are submitted as a part of routine monitoring by the Water Sciences Section and DWR regional offices, including the Ambient Monitoring System, Random Ambient Monitoring System (RAMS), lake monitoring, groundwater studies. Samples are also submitted for compliance monitoring, fish kills, complaints, emergency situations, and other sampling projects.
In addition to water samples, the branch analyzes samples of soil, sediment, and fish tissue for metals. The Microbiology and Metals Unit features a Mercury Clean Room for analyzing mercury at very low levels.
The branch's clients include DWR (other branches of Water Sciences Section, Regional Offices), the Division of Waste Management's Underground Storage Tank (UST) section, the Division of Mitigation Services, local universities, and federal agencies (USGS, Fish & Wildlife).
Analytical data from the branch is used in the assessment of surface water bodies in each of the state's river basins; classification of rivers and streams; compliance; investigations of fish kills, water supply wells, and other sites. Ultimately, all of the data reported by the branch is used to assess and protect water resources for the citizens of North Carolina.