Analytical Methods, Practical Quantitation Limits, and Quality Assurance Unit
Analytical Methods and PQL's (Reporting Limits):
Biological and chemical analyses conducted by the Microbiology and Inorganic Chemistry Branch follow EPA-approved analytical methods. The sources of these methods include the USEPA, Standard Methods, and ASTM.
Each analytical procedure has a Practical Quantitation Limit (PQL), which is defined and proposed as "the lowest level achievable among laboratories within specified limits during routine laboratory operation". The PQL is about three to five times the calculated Method Detection Limit (MDL) for the analytical procedure, and represents a practical and routinely achievable reporting limit with a relatively good certainty that any reported value is reliable.
Note: Unless otherwise noted, PQL's and methods are for water samples only.
Quality Assurance Unit (WSS Chemistry Laboratory)
The Quality Assurance (QA) unit is responsible for establishing, implementing and coordinating a comprehensive Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) program for environmental sampling and analyses performed by the WSS Chemistry Laboratory (Central Lab and Asheville Regional Lab). The QA unit is dedicated to ensuring that environmental data operations are of a quality that meet or exceed requirements for informed decision making. This unit is responsible for providing information, guidance and expertise in quality control and regulatory compliance issues.
A well-conceived QA program provides a sound framework for the generation of laboratory data that is scientifically valid, representative and legally defensible. The validity and reliability of the data generated by the WSS Chemistry Laboratory are assured by adherence to rigorous QA/QC protocols. The fundamental elements of the WSS Chemistry Laboratory's QA program include Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), quality control practices, performance testing samples, internal and external audits and an ethics policy.
The Laboratory Quality Assurance Officer for the Water Sciences Section is Norma Good. For questions or more information, please contact Norma by telephone (919-733-3908, extension 257) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).