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 laws and rules. We're a 75-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 1997, we analyzed 81,000 samples for 188,000 tests and 655,000 analytes.
  • In 1997, EPD labs passed all audits with a 95% acceptance rate (379/398 analytes).

At the EPD Laboratory, versatility is key. We run a large and diverse group of instrumentation and have the people capable of running them.

  • Atomic Absorption Spectrophometers (Flame and Graphite Furnace)
  • 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:

David Jones, Laboratory Director
Phillip Mitchell, Quality Assurance Manager
Vacant, Air Quality Laboratory Manager
Viola Reynolds, Bacteriological Laboratory Manager
Steve Bryan, GC/MS (Volatiles) Laboratory Manager
Kristy Hrehor, Acting Inorganics Laboratory Manager
Mark Tolbert, Metals Laboratory Manager
Carmen Jones, 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, Equiv Meth MM80-354-A-1
Organochlorine Pesticides
TO-10
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-14
Aqueous Waste
 
ICP Metals
6010B
ICPMS Metals
6020
Mercury
7470A
Coal
 
Ash Content
ASTM 482-63
B.T.U.
ASTM 240-64
Moisture Content
ASTM D-95-30
Sulfur Content
ASTM D-271
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)
5310-D
Trihalomethanes
551
Volatiles
502.2
Paint
 
Volatiles
40CFR60, Appendix A
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
8270
Semi-Volatiles
8270
TPH Diesel Range
8015B
TPH Gasoline Range
8015B
Volatile Appendix IX
8260
Volatiles
5035/8260
Toxicity Characterization Leachate Procedure
 
ICP Metals
1311
Semi-Volatiles
1311
Volatiles
1311
Waste
 
Chlorinated Acid Herbicides
8150
Chlorinated Pesticides & PCBs
8081
Cyanide
9010A
Formaldehyde
8315
Organophosphate Pesticides
8141A
Petroleum Characterization
8015
Semi-Volatile Appendix IX
8270
Semi-Volatiles
8270
Volatile Appendix IX
8260
Volatiles
8260
Water
 
AA Furnace Metals
200.9
AA Flame Metals
-------
Acrolein & Acrylonitrile
8260
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
4500-CN-E
Cyanide-Amenable
4500-CN-G
Ethylene Glycol
8015 Mod
Fluoride
4500-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
345.2
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
8270
Semi-Volatiles
8270
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
8260
Volatiles
8260

Air Quality Laboratory

The EPD Air Quality Laboratory analyzes ambient (surrounding, breathable) air collected from monitoring stations located throughout Georgia. This lab also analyzes air samples collected from stationary sources (industrial or commercial facilities), as well as, audits fossil fuel samples from electric utilities. 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, BTU content of coal, volatile organic levels in ink, paint, and coatings. The particulates collected on the glass or quartz filters over a 24 hour period are measured to see if they exceed 150 ¼g/m3 health standard. Lead and other metals are extracted and analyzed by ICP/MS or AA 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), organochlorine pesticides (e.g., heptachlor), and toxic metals (e.g., lead). EPD has established an Air Toxics Network to sample the air around Georgia. Twenty sites will be operating by the year 2000.

Bacteriology Laboratory

The EPD Bacteriology Laboratory conducts analysis 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.

New technology is beginning to improve the capability to find and identify bacteria within four hours. An automated Analytic Profile Index machine has been installed at the EPD Bacteriology Lab to identify gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. This was used to determine E. coli O157:H7 strain found in special samples. We have acquired a flow cytometer 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) Lab is also known as the Volatiles Lab due to specializing in finding "volatile organic compounds (VOCs)." This laboratory primarily uses GC/MS instrumentation to identify and quantify compounds such as benzene, toluene, trichloroethylene, and vinyl chloride. These compound 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.

Drinking water samples collected statewide are analyzed for over 50 volatile compounds, as required by federal and state environmental rules. If VOCs are detected, EPD will conduct additional sampling and investigation to determine its source. Hazardous waste samples are often analyzed for 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 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 people's houses, are analyzed for metals. Other water samples come from streams and lakes; aquatic biota are thought to be especially sensitive to metals and can bio-accumulate metals in tissues. The Metals Lab has measured metals concentrations, especially mercury, in fish samples taken from inland and coastal waters.

Using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry or Inductively Coupled Argon Plasma Spectroscopy, extremely pure water and clean plastic-ware, Metals Lab scientists can measure metals down to a few parts per billion.

At the other extreme, the Metals Lab conducts a Toxicity Characterization Leachate Procedure 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 10 different chemical tests and approximately 100 chemical compounds -- pesticides (e.g., 2,4-D, chlordane), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Trihalomethanes (e.g.,chloroform, bromodichloromethane) analyses are conducted on our larger drinking water systems. Drinking water plants add chlorine to disinfect the water before people drink it. These trihalomethane compounds are often formed from the chlorination of trace quantities of organic compounds.

The lab 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.

Fish , shellfish, water, and sediments are analyzed for pesticides from our coastal areas and river basins. Waste from spills and abandoned drums are also analyzed along with contaminated water and soil for a wide variety of chemical contaminants.