Analytical Chemistry Support for the US EPA National Aquatic Resource Survey
CSS chemically analyzes hundreds of water samples collected annually from the US EPA’s National Aquatic Resource Survey (NARS), a critical contribution to the EPA assessments of the condition of the nation’s water bodies.
Our support of the EPA’s National Aquatic Resource Surveys (NARS) provides a significant example of our experience with the chemical analysis of water samples. NARS is a large collaborative program between EPA, states and tribes to conduct a statistically-based survey of the status of the nation’s waters. The nation’s lakes, rivers and streams, wetlands and coastal waters are sampled iteratively over a five-year period. Over forty-five states participate in the program. The EPA generates an assessment report of the environmental condition of the water bodies sampled in a given year. The chemistry data we provide is a major component of that determination. Key highlights of our support for NARS are included below.
- Provided analytical chemistry support for NARS since its inception in 2007 and analyzed 850-1050 water samples a year for the program.
- Analyzed 12 to 23 chemical constituents annually depending on the water bodies being sampled in a particular year (e.g., coastal waters, lakes, rivers), including nitrate, nitrite and total phosphorus.
- Completed analyses following a strict schedule of sample hold times.
- Prepared comprehensive database of results and QC/QA data for the EPA.
- Prepared and maintained an EPA-approved laboratory quality assurance plan and 20 EPA-approved SOPs.
- Documented analytical performance for NARS work in annual updates of Data Quality Summary Report (DQSR)
- Managed and cross-trained staff to meet analytical, sample load, and technical expertise requirements
- Maintained staff competency based on results of multiple proficiency testing studies; peer review of calibration, sample, and QC data; and critique of control charts.