A Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources

Analytical Excellence Supporting Environmental Compliance

The EPD Laboratory conducts chemical and microbiological tests to ensure compliance with state and federal environmental regulations. We are an 80-person, multi-disciplinary, integrated laboratory capable of analyzing air, water, soil and biota for a large number of constituents.

The EPD Laboratory consistently produces analytical results in high throughput, high quality environment:

In 1993, we analyzed 82,000 samples for 150,000 tests and 447,000 analytes.
In 2016, we analyzed 120,000 samples for 219,000 tests and 800,000 analytes.
In 2016, the EPD Laboratory passed all audits with a 100% acceptance rate.

At the EPD Laboratory, versatility is the key. We run a large and diverse group of instrumentation and have the trained scientists and technicians necessary to perform the tasks.

Automated Analytic Profile Index (for identification of bacteria)
AutoAnalyzers (for inorganic analytes)
Gas Chromatographs (EC, ELCD, FID, MS, NPD)
Inductively Coupled Argon Plasma Spectrometers (Optical and Mass Spec)
Ion Chromatographs
Liquid Chromatographs (Fluorescence, UV/VIS)

Working with EPD's regulatory and enforcement staff, EPD Labs helps to ensure Georgia's environment is safe and healthy.

EPD Laboratory Management Team:

Ray Terhune, Laboratory Director
Carmen Jones, Quality Assurance Manager
Tamiko Jones, Air Quality Laboratory Manager
Avionne Fortner, Bacteriological Laboratory Manager
Ralph Schulz, GC/MS (Volatiles) Laboratory Manager
Kristy Hrehor,  Inorganics Laboratory Manager
Shene’ Jones, Metals Laboratory Manager
Jeff Moore, Organics Laboratory Manager

 

EPD Laboratories: Analytical Capability by Matrix and Analysis

 

 

Matrix Analysis
Method
Air
 
Aldehydes and Ketones
TO-11
Lead From Total Suspended Particulate
40CFR50, Appendix G
Particulate Matter-10
40CFR50, Appendix J
Partisol PM-10
40CFR50, Appendix J
Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons
TO-13
Total Suspended Particulates
40CFR50, Appendix B
Volatiles
PAMS
Volatiles
TO-154
Aqueous Waste
 
ICP Metals
6010B
ICPMS Metals
6020
Mercury
7470A
Drinking Water
 
Carbamate Pesticides
531.1
Chloride
300.0
Chlorinated Pesticides & PCBs
508.1
Chlorinated Acid Herbicides
515.1
Coliforms bacteria
MMO-MUG (Coliert)
Diquat
549.1
EDB & DBCP
504
Endothall
548.1
Glyphosate
547
NO3/NO2(Nitrate/Nitrite)
353.2
Nitrogen & Phosphorus Pesticides
507.1
Phthalate & Adipate Esters
506
Polynuclear Aromatics (PNAs)
550.1
Sulfate
300.0, 375.1
TOC (Total Organic Carbon)
SM5310-D
Trihalomethanes
551
Volatiles
524.1
Semi-Volatiles
-525.2
Sediment/Soil/Solids
 
BTEX (Benzene,Toluene,Xylene)
8021
Chlorinated Acid Herbicides
8150A
Chlorinated Pesticides & PCBs
8081
Ethylene Glycol
8015 Mod
Formaldehyde
8315
ICP Metals
6010B
ICPMS Metals
6020
Mercury
7471A
Organophosphate Pesticides
8141A
Percent Solids & % Volatile Solids
3540
Petroleum Characterization
8015 Mod
Semi-Volatile Appendix IX
8270C
Semi-Volatiles
8270C
TPH Diesel Range
8015B
TPH Gasoline Range
8015B
Volatile Appendix IX
8260B
Volatiles
5035C/8260B
Toxicity Characterization Leachate Procedure
 
ICP Metals
1311
Semi-Volatiles
1311
Volatiles
1311
Waste
 
Chlorinated Acid Herbicides
8150
Chlorinated Pesticides & PCBs
8081/8082
Cyanide
9010A
Formaldehyde
8315
Organophosphate Pesticides
8141A
Petroleum Characterization
8015
Semi-Volatile Appendix IX
8270C
Semi-Volatiles
8270C
Volatile Appendix IX
8260B
Volatiles
8260B
Water
 
AA Furnace Metals
200.9
AA Flame Metals
-------
Acrolein & Acrylonitrile
8260B
Alkalinity
310.1
Analytic Profile Index
API
(gram negative bacteria identification)
 
BOD(Biochemical Oxygen Demand)
405.1
BTEX (Benzene,Toluene,Xylene)
8020
Chloride
300.0
Chlorinated Pesticides & PCBs
8081
Chlorinated Acid Herbicides
8150A
COD(Chemical Oxygen Demand)
410.4
Coliforms
MPN
Color (all types)
110.2
Cyanide
SM4500-CN-E
Cyanide-Amenable
SM4500-CN-G
Ethylene Glycol
8015 Mod
Fluoride
SM4500-F-E
Formaldehyde
8315
Hardness
130.2
Heterotrophic Plate Count
Std Methods
ICP Metals
200.7
ICPMS Metals
200.8
MBAS (Surfactant)
425.1
Mercury
245.2
NH3 (Ammonia)
350.1
NO3/NO2(Nitrate/Nitrite)
353.2
Oil & Grease (HEM)
1664
Organophosphate Pesticides
8141A
Petroleum Characterization
8015 Mod
pH
150.1
Semi-Volatile Appendix IX
8270C
Semi-Volatiles
8270C
Specific Conductivity
2510B
Sulfate
300.0, 375.1
Sulfide
376.2
Tannin & Lignon
5550
TKN (Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen)
351.1
TOC (Total Organic Carbon)
415.1
Total Phenol
420.2
Total & Suspended Solids
160.3/160.2
Total or Ortho Phosphate
365.1
TPH Gasoline Range
8015B
TPH Diesel Range
8015B
Turbidity
180.1
Volatile Appendix IX
8260B
Volatiles
8260B

Air Quality Laboratory

The EPD Air Quality Laboratory analyzes ambient (surrounding, breathable) air collected from monitoring stations located throughout Georgia. This laboratory also analyzes air samples collected from stationary sources (industrial or commercial facilities). Air Quality samples are collected in glass fiber filters, quartz filters, polyurethane foam plugs, carbonyl cartridges, and summa passivated canisters. They are tested for total suspended particulates, particulate matter 10 micron & 2.5 micron, lead, and other metals.. The particulates collected on the glass or quartz filters over a 24 hour period are measured to see if they exceed the  150 ug/m3 health standard. Lead and other metals are digested and analyzed by ICP/MS spectroscopy. Particles of 2.5 microns or less are given special consideration because they can enter a person’s lungs and remain there, causing potential health problems.

EPD's Air Toxics program monitors for aldehydes and ketones (such as formaldehyde and acetone), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and toxic metals (e.g., lead). EPD has established an Air Toxics Network to sample the air around Georgia.

Bacteriology Laboratory

The EPD Bacteriology Laboratory conducts analyses to find and identify bacteria in Georgia's water supplies, streams, lakes, and wastewater effluent. Microorganisms that are naturally found in our waters can have an adverse effect on human health. Coliform bacteria are a group of microorganisms that are indicators of contamination in our drinking water; fecal coliform are a direct indication of contamination from septic tanks, waste treatment plants or animal wastes.

We use multiple tube and membrane filter methods to help quantify the amount of coliform bacteria found in 100 mL of drinking water source approval and wastewater samples. A presence/absence (Colilert™) test allows EPD to routinely monitor drinking water for coliform and E. coli bacteria.

The laboratory has acquired  flow cytometers and Epifluorescent microscopes. These will help in developing the methodology to identify cryptosporidium and giardia that have been found in rivers and lakes.

GC/MS (Volatiles) Laboratory

The GC/MS (Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometer) Laboratory primarily uses GC/MS instrumentation to identify and quantify volatile compounds such as benzene, toluene, trichloroethylene, and vinyl chloride. These compounds are used in common products such as gasoline, PVC pipe, dry cleaning fluids, or paint and coating solvents. Some of these chemicals have the potential or are known human carcinogens. Semi-volatile compounds are also analyzed with GC/MS instrumentation and include compounds found in petroleum products, wood treatment and pesticide residues.

Drinking water samples collected statewide are analyzed for over 60 volatile and semi-volatile compounds, as required by federal and state environmental rules. If any compounds are detected, EPD will conduct additional sampling and investigation to determine its source. Hazardous waste samples are often analyzed for volatile and semi-volatile organics, an indication of improper disposal. Canisters of air taken from statewide ambient monitors are analyzed for photochemical oxidants (precursors to smog) and toxic organic chemicals (such as tetrachloroethylene).

Inorganics Laboratory

The Inorganic Laboratory analyzes a variety of sample types (Drinking Water, Streams and Lakes, Hazardous Waste, Water Pollution Control Plants) for over 40 different parameters. Some of the more common analytes are: Ammonia, Nitrate/Nitrite, Total Phosphorous, Nitrogen (TKN), Total Organic Carbon, Biochemical Oxygen Demand, Chemical Oxygen Demand, Turbidity, Color and Suspended Solids. These parameters give a general, overall view of Georgia's water quality. They are important in the monitoring of agricultural runoff to lakes and streams, pollution control plants, background monitoring as well as ensuring facilities are meeting their permitted discharge limits.

In addition, Nitrate/Nitrite, Sulfate, Cyanide, Phosphates and Total Organic Carbon are analyzed on Drinking Water samples throughout the state as part of the Safe Drinking Water Act. High nitrate (found in fertilizers) levels have been implicated in toxicity with infants. Sulfates and Organic Carbon can impart taste or odor to drinking water.

Metals Laboratory

The Metals Laboratory is responsible for identifying and measuring the concentration of metal ions (such as arsenic, lead, copper, mercury, or cadmium) in environmental samples. Samples of drinking water, either from water treatment plants or individual homes, are also analyzed for metals. Other water samples come from streams and lakes. Aquatic biota is thought to be especially sensitive to metals and can bio-accumulate metals in tissues. Using Inductively Coupled Plasma Spectroscopy (ICP and ICP/MS), extremely pure water and clean plastic-ware, Metals Laboratory scientists can measure metals down to a few parts per billion.

At the other extreme, the Metals Lab conducts a Toxicity Characterization Leachate Procedure (TCLP) to mimic the level of metals leached out of a sanitary landfill over many years. Above certain levels, soils contaminated with metals may need remediation or removal to ensure human health and safety.

Organics Laboratory

The Organics Lab analyzes Public Water systems for Synthetic Organic Compounds (SOCs) on a varying cycle. This comprises 12 different chemical tests and approximately 100 plus chemical compounds. These include: Pesticides (e.g., 2,4-D, chlordane) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); Trihalomethanes; and Haloacetic Acids. Trihalomethanes (e.g.,chloroform, bromodichloromethane) analyses are conducted on our larger drinking water systems. Drinking water plants add chlorine to disinfect the water before it is released for public consumption. These trihalomethane compounds are often formed from the chlorination of trace quantities of organic compounds.

The laboratory analyzes PUF (polyurethane foam) cartridges on a 12 day cycle for pesticide and polynuclear aromatic compounds. Ozone precursors like carbonyl (e.g., methyl ethyl ketone) compounds are analyzed on this same cycle plus an intensive summer sampling period.