Microbiology and Inorganic Chemistry Branch
Roy Byrd - Branch Chief
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 analytical units and regional lab analyze water samples collected from a variety of sources across North Carolina that includes lakes, rivers, streams, estuaries, 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 System, Random Ambient Monitoring System (RAMS), groundwater studies, lake monitoring), but also include samples for compliance monitoring, fish kills, complaints, and emergency situations.
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, Environment Enhancement Program (EEP), 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.