Laboratory Services

Water and Sediment Quality Laboratory

Water quality testing is an important aspect of environmental monitoring. The quality of water impacts aquatic organisms, the surrounding ecosystem, and can help or harm human initiatives. The physical and chemical properties of sediments and soils directly affect plant growth, biodiversity, erosion rates, and management practices.

Laboratory instrumentation and facilities to study water and sediment quality indicators are of upmost concern to researchers, government agencies, and watershed groups in the region. The laboratory has a full-time director and training protocol and follows USEPA-approved standard methods and strict QA/QC procedures. For more information, please see our Standard Operating Procedures.

 Water Analyses
  • Inorganic Analyses: Major Ions, Nutrients, Metals
  • Physical Properties: Total Suspended Solids (TSS), Turbidity, Temperature, Conductivity
  • Chemical Properties: pH, Dissolved Oxygen (DO), Dissolved Ions
  • Microbial Analyses: Coliforms (total, E. coli), Microbial Source Tracking, Suspended and Benthic Chlorophyll and Algae
Sediment Analyses
  • Physical and Chemical Properties: Texture, Porosity, Temperature, Structure
  • Laser Diffraction: Particle Size Distribution
  • Specific Gravity and Relative Density
  • Sediment Particle Density
  • X-ray Fluorescence (XRF)
  • Isotopes

Laboratory Equipment

Equipment Uses Standard Operating Procedure User Guide
Fisher Scientific accumet® excel XL25 pH/mV/Temp/Ion Meter  pH, mV, ion concentration, chloride concentration SOP_Chloride_Concentrations_using_Accumet_Excel_XL25_2013.pdf User Guide
IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. Quanti-Tray and Quanti-Tray/2000 Quantifying coliforms, E. coli, entericocci, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Heterotrophic Plate Counts (HPC) SOP_Ecoli_and_Total_Coliforms_using_IDEXX_2013.pdf User Guide
Oxford X-Met 3000TX Portable XRF Analyzer Measuring trace elements in soil and sediment SOP_XRF_XMET3000TXS_Handheld_2007.pdf User Guide

Niton™ XL3t XRF Analyzer

Measuring trace elements in soil and sediment   User Guide
Oakton® pH 5+ Handheld pH Meter Measures pH and Temperature in potable, surface, and wastewater SOP_pH_Handheld_OaktonpH5plus_2015.pdf User Guide
Traceable® Portable Conductivity Meter with Calibration Determination of conductivity in potable, surface, and wastewater SOP_Conductivity_ColeParmerPortable_2015.pdf User Guide
Isotemp® Programmable Muffle Furnace Determination of organic matter  SOP_OrganicMatter_LOI_2019.pdf User Guide
LS™ 13 320 Laser Diffraction Particle Size Analyzer Characterize particulates between 10 nanometers - 3000 micrometers  SOP_Laser_Diffraction_LS13320_2008.pdf User Guide
Sonic Sifters Rapid separation of dried particles SOP_Sonic_Sifter_2020.pdf User Guide
Bartington® MS3 Magnetic Susceptibility Meter Determination of magnetic susceptibility in dried soil samples SOP_Magnetic_Susceptibility_2020.pdf User Guide